Aston Martin’s concerning AMR24 upgrade insight as Fernando Alonso completes test session

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Fernando Alonso driving down the pit lane at Imola

Fernando Alonso heads down the pit lane at Imola

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has admitted that the AMR24 car is “difficult to drive” after Fernando Alonso effectively treated the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a test session.

Aston Martin were among a number of teams to bring upgrades to Imola, with the team’s latest package featuring modifications to the front wing, nose, floor, diffuser, engine cover and rear corner.

Aston Martin admit AMR24 hard to drive after Fernando Alonso crash

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Pablo Hidalgo

Despite the extensive list of improvements, Aston Martin had a troubled weekend with Alonso crashing out of final practice before being slowest of all in qualifying.

Alonso went on to start the race from the pit lane, finishing a distant 19th, as team-mate Lance Stroll improved from P13 on the grid to grab two points for ninth place.

Speaking to media including’s Thomas Maher after the race, Krack claimed that two points for ninth “was quite a good outcome” on a challenging weekend for Aston Martin, with the cars of Alonso and Stroll “quite different” on race day as the team decided to experiment with setup.

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He said: “At Imola, when you start from where we started, it’s difficult. To come away with two points, I think it was quite a good outcome.

“It shows that the car is still capable of doing things, but we have also seen that it is difficult to drive.

“We had a couple of offs over the weekend – [Alonso’s] one from Saturday actually impacted us the most, because we were really on the back foot from that point onwards – so some lessons learned.

“We wanted to learn more. That’s why we elected to start from the pit lane and make a change on the car to see if we can make it easier.

“All in all, we wanted to do better from what we have done, but it was also compromised a little bit by the events of Saturday.

“The cars were quite different. We have just come from the debrief and between the two cars we have seen differences to the changes.

“They’re not always positive in one direction or negative in the other, but I think it was good to do that to learn as much as possible as quick as possible.”

Krack conceded that there were “some small differences” in the aerodynamic specification between the cars of Alonso and Stroll following the upgrade.

And with the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes also bringing updates to Imola – a fortnight after McLaren introduced a new package in Miami – he stressed that it is “tough” to keep up in the development race.

He said: “We’re not happy with two points, that is clear, but other people are also bringing upgrades, so it is always a relative game. You have to really try to keep up and understand what you’re doing.

“It’s tough, we must not underestimate that. Apart from one team, I think everybody had a list full of upgrades [at Imola], so it shows how competitive the whole field is.

“It’s something where you have to really keep pushing and keep bringing more stuff and also understanding it.”

Alonso confirmed his attempt to provide the team with as much useful data as possible at Imola, telling DAZN F1 Spain: “I tried to give the team more information and more data with two different cars and two different setup configurations.

“It was a weekend of ups and downs and let’s see if the team can gather all this data to get to Monaco better.”

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