Report details unintended consequences of Aston Martin downforce-increase upgrades

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso features in the latest F1 2023 results at the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. June 2023

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso features in the latest F1 2023 results at the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. June 2023

A report has claimed that Aston Martin’s upgrades brought greater downforce but cost them balance in the AMR23.

Team principal Mike Krack made the surprise revelation ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that his team had taken a wrong turn in their development route, allowing the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and most recently McLaren to take on the title of second best car on the grid.

The Luxembourger had no interest in using “easy excuses” of changes to the tyre make up and the cost cap as explaining Aston Martin’s drop off form but instead that they needed to go back on some of the development routes they had opted for in order to return to their pace of the early season.

Aston Martin’s search for downforce costs them the balance

A report by Formu1a.uno has drilled down on the technical aspects of just what those development mistakes were and it can be simplified by suggesting that in an effort to increase their downforce, Aston Martin sacrificed some of the AMR23’s balance.

As to what caused these changes well it was two particular races that had the largest effect. The first was the Spanish Grand Prix where a new front wing was introduced and the second was in Canada where elements of the floor were changed.

It was not just Aston errors either that saw their performance dip from Austria. In Barcelona, weather prevented a lot of meaningful running and Fernando Alonso’s off in Q1 was never truly recovered from.

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The new floor in Canada resulted in greater downforce caused by the underbody but had the side effect of upsetting the balance of the car and making the AMR23 a much more sensitive car.

Formu1a.uno claim this made it harder for the Aston Martin mechanics and engineers to find the right set-up for the car and while at the start of the season it was able to be competitive from the off, now it takes more time to find the sweet spot.

Krack was coy as to how far Aston were going to roll back on their development and crucially did not give a date as to when he expects them to be back on track but with a summer shutdown coming up, it will be no quick fix.

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