Could Aston Martin be at ‘Red Bull’s level’ soon with wind tunnel data boost?

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen leads the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. Montreal June 2023.

Max Verstappen holds the lead ahead of Fernando Alonso heading into Turn 1. Montreal June 2023.

Less than 10 seconds behind Red Bull in Canada, a report claims Aston Martin believe their upgraded AMR23 can “drive at Red Bull’s level”, they just need to understand the upgrades a little better.

Aston Martin brought their biggest round of upgrades for the car to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend where they ran a new floor and engine cover while there were also changes to the undercut behind the sidepod inlets.

The team acknowledge the changes were “enormous”, but almost seemed to downplay their performance gains, gains that saw Fernando Alonso bring his AMR23 home in second place having beaten Lewis Hamilton in the B-spec Mercedes to the line.

But for the Spaniard it was a case of what could’ve been with Alonso telling the team he wanted to go for the win shortly after he was told to lift and coast with his car seemingly having a fuel system issue.

He went from chasing down Max Verstappen for the lead to holding off Hamilton for second.

There is, though, encouragement coming from the Aston Martin camp with Auto Motor und Sport claiming there are some team members who believe the upgrades have put them on a par with Red Bull.

AMuS’s Michael Schmidt reports that ‘apparently the data from the wind tunnel and the simulations are so good that there are people in the team who already trust the car to drive at Red Bull’s level.’

But, he added, they need to ‘better understand the upgrade’.

Alonso himself conceded that Aston Martin need more time for that. recommends

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“We still need more time maybe of free practice with our new upgraded car,” he said after his P2 in Canada. “We still need to understand and optimise the package a little bit and in Austria, obviously with the sprint, we will have only FP1 to do that.

“But yeah, it is what it is. The circuit will be good and maybe better for the package as well.”

Speaking about Aston Martin’s upgrades on Friday in Montreal, tech guru Dan Fallows said it was a “good step forward” but that more data was needed before delivering a definitive verdict.

“Certainly physically the biggest part that we put on the car, it’s enormous, but anytime you do a change to the floor it’s a pretty sizable update,” Fallows said.

“But we’ve seen that the floors and the engine covers have been sort of hot area of development. So it’s something that we’ve been working on for a while.

“We’ve sort of developed our previous concept, which is why we’ve ended up bringing this here. And you know, yes, it is a is a good step forward.

“And as far as the data is concerned, we’ll have to see exactly what that translates into in terms of lap time.”