It could be suggested the Aston Martin team maybe didn’t have their best Formula One season in 2022 finishing P7 in the constructors’ championship. As recently as in 2020 the Silverstone based squad finished in fourth behind F1’s “big 3” although since being renamed from Racing Point P7 has been as good as it gets for Lawrence Stroll’s British Racing Green liveried outfit.
Aston Martin have received inward investment from Saudi Arabia and are building a £200m state of the art facility that will open in 3 phases between this spring and the summer of 2025. Yet the investment has not stopped there. The team has been recruiting senior members from Mercedes and Red Bull since the introduction of the cost cap forced the bigger F1 outfits to reduce their headcount.
Aston Martin F1 recruited Red Bull and Mercedes top brass
Aston Martin have also recruited the experienced Fernando Alonso to help with the development of the car and deputy technical director (ex-Merdcedes senior management) Eric Blandin now explains what a difference the Spaniard has already made during an interview on the teams own website.
Alonso was released from Alpine to run the Pirelli tire test in Abu Dhabi following the season’s final event in November 2022. Blandin claims Fernando offered “extremely precise” feedback on what was better about the AMR22 when compared to the Alpine he’d been driving all season.
“He clearly communicated what he wants from the car and immediately identified a few things that we’ve been able to feed into the design of the AMR23,” said Blandin
Alonso feedback already crucial for Aston Martin 2023 car
“Last season, Fernando drove a car that was quite different from ours – and more competitive. After driving the AMR22, he was quickly able to compare the two cars and say, ‘this is clearly better, this is clearly worse, and this is what we should focus on.’”
Alonso’s feedback was of such quality that the Aston Martin team were able to put a number of his ideas into practice for the development of the 2023 F1 challenger – the AMR23. Its clear Fernando’s knowledge is now helping drive the direction of the car’s development at his new team.
At Formula One car launches, the teams regularly play hide and seek with the fans and their competitors doing everything from just a very unveil to revealing the actual design and aerodynamic surfaces of the new season’s challenger.
Aston Martin F1 will unveil ‘actual’ car
Blandin states at their launch, the team “will unveil the actual car, just as we did last year. The car we reveal at our new factory in Silverstone on 13 February will be the real AMR23. We’re not going to disappoint fans.”
The Aston Martin technical director also reveals that their car will be revolutionary.
“We took all our learnings from last year’s car and applied them to this year’s car. So much of the AMR23 is new, it’s completely different from the AMR22. We’ve changed more than 90 per cent of the parts and more than 95 per cent of the aerodynamic surfaces are different.”
Aston Martin’s 2023 car is a big step forward in performance claims Blandin, although he admits he can have no idea the relative steps forward the other teams have made.
F1 team designs will not converge
Furthermore, “There will still be differences between the cars. There were two very different philosophies in 2022 and I imagine this will still be the case in ’23.”
With such a huge regulation change for last season, it is possible before the next big step changes for 2026, the teams’ designs do not converge into 1 broad church at all.
Blandin concludes the signing of Fernando Alonso, who he worked with at Ferrari, was “massive for the team.”
“Fernando is an outstanding driver. There aren’t many drivers of his caliber on the grid – you can count them on one hand. He’s so passionate, so driven… extremely driven. After everything he’s achieved, he still has that restless hunger to win.
Signing Alonso “massive” for Aston Martin
“Signing Fernando was massive for the team. He’s going to push us a lot and help take us to the next level.
“He’ll push Lance, too. They’ll complement each other and he’ll bring out the best in him. We have a very strong driver pairing, and it’s up to us to give them a competitive car.
“We can have the best driver pairing on the grid, but it won’t count for much if we don’t give them a fast car. We need to deliver.
READ MORE: LeClerc ‘banned’ from Ferrari factory
— Aston Martin F1 updates (@startonpole) January 21, 2023