Aston Martin reveal bitter reality of F1 2023 which they must ‘accept’

Henry Valantine
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso on track at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso on track in Singapore.

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough has admitted the team have to accept that other teams have done a “stronger job” of in-season development this year.

Aston Martin flew out of the traps in the 2023 season as the nearest challengers to Red Bull in the early part of the season, with Fernando Alonso standing on the podium in six of the first eight races.

But the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and latterly McLaren have all recovered from slower starts to overhaul the Silverstone-based team on pure pace as the year has progressed, with Aston Martin in danger of losing out on fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship in the closing stages of 2023.

Aston Martin admit ‘underperforming’ teams have overhauled them as 2023 has progressed

Fernando Alonso admitted ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix that McLaren would likely pass the team in the Constructors’ standings before season’s end, with his former team moving to within 11 points of Aston Martin’s total with two double podiums in both Sprint and race performances.

Alonso has kept up a 100% record of making it through to Q3 all season, but Lance Stroll has struggled to match him on the other side of the garage and has come under scrutiny for his performances as a result.

While Aston Martin have pointed out they have still made huge strides forward compared to where they were this time last year, having been languishing in the lower midfield in 2022, performance director McCullough admitted the team were “surprised” to be so far forward at the start of this year.

But that being said, they had hoped to have done a stronger job of developing the AMR23 as the year has progressed.

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“There are definitely some teams at the start of the year who were underperforming, who were taking a step back, we knew that they’d get back on top of that, most notably McLaren and Mercedes,” McCullough said, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

“At the start of the year, we were a little bit surprised to be the second or third fastest team, but the margins between the second, third and fourth fastest teams were always very small. And we’re always very aware that it doesn’t take much to fall to the back of that pack.

“And then just from a pure development race, bringing bits to the car, making the car quicker, it was a relative game. Some teams have been doing a stronger job than we have, we have to accept that.

“We obviously hoped to develop stronger than we’ve ended up developing.”

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