Aston Martin staying ‘open-minded’ about keeping Mercedes parts in future

Sam Cooper
Aston Martin team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll together. Brazil, November 2022.

Aston Martin team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll together on the track. Brazil, November 2022.

Dan Fallows said Aston Martin are “open-minded” when it comes to using Mercedes parts in the future as they look to become more independent.

With a new factory on its way, Aston Martin are aiming to become one of the top teams in the sport and while there has so far been minimal talk of them also becoming an engine supplier, there is every possibility that they will design all other parts in-house.

Currently, the Silverstone-based team buys parts like the rear suspension and the gearbox from Mercedes but the team’s technical director Fallows has suggested they will have an open mind when it comes to what they will use in the future.

Speaking to media including during a tour of the construction site of the new base, Fallows said that if they did take it in-house they would have to be able to produce parts that were as good, if not better, than what they get now.

“I think we’re pretty open minded about that,” he said. “What this team has gained from its relationship with [Mercedes] has been immense.

“As we move into the future and do things our own way, or take on our own projects, we’re very mindful that we have to be able to do them at least as well if not better than they do. That’s a capability that we would have to build up before we even talk about making those decisions.”

Team principal Mike Krack was sat alongside Fallows at the time and brought up the point that building parts in house makes it quicker and cheaper.

“When you have the ability to make everything yourself, you can make things faster and if you can, make them also cheaper,” he added.

“It means that you can make more or you can have maybe one or two upgrades more than before due to time and also due to financial reasons. So from that point of view, I think it’s a good step.”

As well as the expansion in buildings, there has been a recruitment drive with Fallows himself being one of many high-profile names to have come from another team, but he said the good thing about those they have taken on is that they have all been willing to adapt to Aston Martin’s way of doing things.

“We were keen to learn from what other people do well and it’s something I’ve always found that when you recruit people, there’s always things you can learn from what other teams are doing,” he explained.

“But also, we’ve been fortunate enough to recruit some very talented, very experienced people who have their own ideas about what makes a car go fast.

“The nice thing is that they’ve come into this environment, very open minded, very willing to kind of forge our own way of doing things using our collective experience.”

All of this is designed to not only boost performance but also the efficiency in which the team is run with the idea of achieving owner Lawrence Stroll’s ambitious goal of challenging for World Championships.

“Efficiency covers pretty much all of it really,” Fallows said of the benefits of the new factory. “It’s efficiency in terms of cost, efficiency in terms of time.

“One of the things that marks out a competitive team is its ability to turn things around quickly, to go from design to reality in the shortest possible time.

“So there’s great leaps forward, you can make in efficiency with that type of facility. Obviously, under a cost cap world, anything you can do which maximises the efficiency of the cost of those parts is worth doing.”

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