Aston Martin to hit back with ’biggest upgrade’ of 2023
"It will be a step forward"
Aston Martin will have a car update in the luggage as Formula 1 treks to Canada next week.
Fernando Alonso’s run of six consecutive top four results - including five podiums - came to a screeching halt in Barcelona as he finished just seventh.
"We have to understand why we lacked speed compared to our rivals," team boss Mike Krack is quoted by the Spanish daily Diario Sport.
One interpretation is that Mercedes’ new ’B’ car has leapfrogged Aston Martin, with former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher thinking it reveals that the Silverstone based team is not as good at in-season car development.
"The team isn’t that experienced and doesn’t quite have the structure of a team top yet," he told Sky Deutschland.
"You could see it in Barcelona - the car was ok, but not good enough. So there are still some weaknesses and they were well demonstrated for us to see."
However, Krack says developments will be taken to Montreal.
"There will be something. It will be a step forward," he said.
"I think we have to wait two or three more races to see where we are. We still had both cars in the points so it’s not a big drama."
But the team’s ambassador, former F1 driver and long-time Alonso collaborator Pedro de la Rosa, is more forthcoming about the importance of Canada.
"We have to cut the gap in Montreal," he told the DAZN broadcaster.
"We left Spain with the tail between our legs for many reasons. It was a jug of cold water at all levels because we were very far away."
Some believe Aston Martin has been too reluctant to add car developments while the early part of the season was going so well.
"We’re not holding anything (back)," de la Rosa insisted. "What happens is that the improvements come when they come. We are introducing improvements little by little.
"We brought a front wing to Barcelona and in Montreal there will be more and so on. It is not an aerodynamic package that will transform anything but there will be many gradual improvements.
"What we are seeing is that we are improving, but so are the others. That’s the reality," the Spaniard added.
De la Rosa also said it’s premature to speculate that Mercedes has now made a permanent leap over Aston Martin that will now be difficult to claw back.
"You have to keep your feet on the ground, but you also have to trust the team," he said. "You don’t have one bad race and think that Mercedes has taken a giant step or that we have lost our path to the podium.
"Mercedes has probably taken a step forward, but not to overtake Ferrari and us. And Red Bull has continued to put 24 seconds to Hamilton so they’re still in another world."
Aston Martin CEO Martin Whitmarsh has reportedly admitted that Canada will host "the biggest update of the year" for the 2023 car.
"That’s what he told me," Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt said.
"He wouldn’t tell me what it is but I assume he was referring to a new floor. Because they’ve already made detail changes in other areas and I think they’ll continue with their sidepod concept as it works quite well."
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