Aston Martin determined to fix ‘tough to drive’ 2024 F1 car

Aston Martin determined to fix 'tough to drive' 2024 F1 car

Aston Martin has revealed its unrelenting determination amid the backdrop of a challenging campaign.

According to Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll have been “exposed to the small gaps” between teams this season because of the “tough to drive” 2024 F1 car.

This comes after the Silverstone-based outfit enjoyed a strong start to the 2023 season securing six podium finishes. However, a costly error in their upgrade strategy caused Aston Martin’s progress to take a downturn.

The team made an effort to retrace its upgrade path, and eventually recovered to take home two more podiums at the end of the season. However, at the time Aston Martin had dropped from P2 in the standings at the midway point to P5 at the end of 2023 in the constructors’ championship standings.

Over the winter, there was a lot of speculation over the team’s capacity to reverse the downward trajectory and reclaim the pace lost in the second half of their previous campaign. However, the AMR24 is yet to secure a podium, as the team ranks P5 in the championship, thirty points behind Mercedes.

Amid the persistent struggles, Fernando Alonso recently inked a contract extension that will see him race for the squad beyond 45, while Lance Stroll is slated to stay for 2025 F1.

The upgrades that Aston Martin brought to Imola did little to help their situation as Fernando Alonso endured a weekend full of errors as Krack later admitted the AMR24 was “more difficult to drive.”

According to Krack, the problem is still unresolved, and the extra margin that Alonso and Lance Stroll have to give as the cars come together during a race has been detrimental to the team.

“Well, the car is quite tough to drive, and we have not managed to cure that so far,” Krack said in Canada.

“So what we need is a car more benign, easier to extract potential, give them more confidence. And we had something like that in the past, and that was much, much easier for the drivers.

“If you lack confidence in your car, then you cannot go to the maximum. You have to take margin and you are much more exposed to these small gaps that we are having these days.

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“And then you can end up on the wrong side of it. And then you start a race much, much further back and there is no point. So it’s up to us to fix these issues.

“I would be happy if I could tell you in two races we have fixed everything. We’re working hard on it to cure these problems and we’re trying to bring these updates as quick as possible.”

Although Krack admitted that the squad had a great 2023, he added that they had minimal expectation for their performance which now requires a “perspective” on their 2024 performance.

“Last year, we exceeded [expectations] massively, and we are measured on this today,” he added. “And that is why we have to put this year a bit more in perspective.

“Last year, at this time, you said: ‘You are much ahead of the plan’. Now, we are much behind the plan. And that’s fine, we have to face also these questions if we put these statements out.”

While Krack acknowledged that year-to-year changes in performance are inevitable, the team is still pushing for long-term growth through getting more partners. Aston Martin will be powered by the Japanese manufacturer when the new power unit regulations are implemented in 2026.

“Last year, we were obviously better than we were thinking,” he added. “That trajectory will go up, it will go down, depending on what your competitors are doing. It is like the stock exchange.

“But you have to keep the target in sight. We have a plan in place how we develop the team from an infrastructure point of view, from the way we are developing.

“We have great partners coming with Honda, we have a great partner with Aramco – so I think there’s no reason to be negative.

“All in all, I’m happy with the way the team develops and you have to go through more difficult periods as well.”

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