Aston Martin have vowed not to back off in their push to make it to the end of 2023 with a competitive car, despite their mid-season slump.
Having started the season with one of the quickest cars on the grid as Fernando Alonso pushed onto the podium at five of the first six races, Aston Martin endured a nightmare weekend in Singapore as they came away empty-handed.
Following Lance Stroll’s withdrawal from the race after a frightening crash in qualifying, Fernando Alonso had a tough race that included an uncharacteristic error, and could only come home in 15th place.
Dan Fallows: It’s a very tough race between several teams
With Aston Martin having lost their competitive edge over teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes as the season has worn on through the relentless development cycle, the AMR23 has become far less consistent a challenger.
Having slipped to fourth in the championship, Aston Martin now have to be more concerned about McLaren’s onslaught as the upgraded MCL60 is proving hugely competitive in the hands of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri. Just 78 points now separate the two teams, with little change of Aston Martin being able to improve upon their fourth place position.
Pushed on why Aston Martin have slumped as the season has gone on, technical director Dan Fallows believes the AMR23 is still competitive – but certain tracks will suit them more than others.
“It’s small margins,” he said.
“I think we’ve seen, from the beginning of the season, that the margins are incredibly tight now. We still have a competitive car. We knew that we would do better here than we were at Monza.
“We’ve seen some tracks that suit our car more than others. There’s no doubt that it’s a very tough race with five teams now.
“We’re up for the challenge, we’re not stopping our development process. We’re going to carry that on deep into the final part of the season with a view to taking those developments forward to next year as well.”
Fernando Alonso: It was our first non-scoring race of the year
As the sole Aston Martin car in the race in Singapore, Alonso had a scrappy race by anyone’s standards – let alone his own – and the Spaniard held his hands up for the pitlane entry error that kicked off his woes.
“It was a race to forget,” Alonso said. “Everything went wrong today. Mistake going into the pits, slow pit stop, no pace in the car.
“It’s better that it happened all in one hit – and let’s not forget it’s actually our first non-scoring race of the entire season. We came here with pretty high hopes, but Singapore is quite a unique event – race pace is really dictated by the temperature of the tyres – and maybe we went a little bit too hard.
“There are a lot of things we need to investigate from this weekend – there’s plenty to take away and improve. We need to get better. Let’s just forget about this weekend and focus on the next one in Suzuka.”