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F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Practice & Qualifying SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 11: Lance Stroll of Canada and Aston Martin F1 Team walks in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Stroll: Former Aston Martin team wouldn’t have fixed early F1 2022 form

Aston Martin had a disastrous start to the season, running as backmarkers, but managed to bring upgrades to their car, leading them to a joint-sixth finish in the constructors' championship

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Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll believes the old Silverstone team would not have been able to produce the kind of recovery it made during the 2022 Formula 1 season.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Final PracticeABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 19: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Aston Martin AMR22 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 19, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Formula 1
Lance Stroll endured a difficult 2022 season, finishing 15th with 18 points in the drivers’ championship (Image Credit: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The start of 2022’s new ground effect era saw a disastrous start for Aston Martin. The Silverstone-based team’s car did not suit the regulations, being way over the minimum weight limit.

The team thought alike with Mercedes, producing a lot of downforce when the car was close to the ground. However, both teams soon realised that porpoising became an issue when trying to run the car as low as possible. Therefore, teams had to raise the ride height to the point where a lot of performance was sacrificed.

The team had their worst performance during the Australian Grand Prix. Both drivers would find themselves in a wall during practice. On top of that Stroll crashed in qualifying, whereas Vettel crashed during the race on his return from COVID-19. Both drivers complained about the car’s drivability.

This lead to a major overhaul to the car coming to the Spanish Grand Prix. The Silverstone team would introduce their B-Spec car. However, it came with a lot of criticism as it looked very similar to the Red Bull RB18.

Despite the criticism, Aston Martin proved that it was their own concept, having had two designs to choose from before the start of the season.

The Aston Martin AMR22B was the pathway for their recovery, becoming consistent points scorers during the second half of the season.

The team has evolved significantly

Looking back at how Aston Martin recovered from their early season form, Lance Stroll talked to Motorsport.com. suggesting that if the same situation came up a few years ago, the team would have stayed at the bottom of the standings:

“I think the team has evolved a lot.”

“At the factory, with the way that things are done, and how the car’s developed, I think a couple of years ago, we would have been in a much more difficult position to dig ourselves out of the hole that we were in at the beginning of the year.

“Now, I think big changes were made. We had a fully different car in Barcelona, and then upgrades from there. Then, all of a sudden, we find ourselves in some races in a much better position than before.

“The whole approach as a team, we’re bonding much better than we used to in the past.

“I think we’re integrating much better than in the past. And I think back at the factory, the whole work ethic, communication, the way that everything is done, I think we’ve come a long way from where we were as Racing Point.”

F1 Grand Prix of AustraliaMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Lancer Stroll of Canada on track in his Aston Martin during the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
Aston Martin endured their toughest weekend during the 2022 Australian Grand Prix (Image Credit: TPN/Getty Images)
Consistency is the next step

Despite the team’s improvements in the second half of the season, they would still have inconsistent results.

Stroll admitted that it was confusing why the performance of the car would differ significantly from each track.

But we still have those odd races, like, going from Austin to Mexico, one week later, where we were probably the fourth-fastest team, I would say in Texas before we had all our issues, to the ninth/tenth-fastest team in Mexico. And then in Sao Paulo, again, we were somewhere in the middle.

“I think we still have those weekends where we kind of don’t know why we’re not, for whatever reason, as competitive as other weekends. We have ideas but we are not 100 percent sure.”

The Canadian outlines being consistent as the definite target going into the new season.

What the future looks like

Aston Martin’s improvements was enough to convince Fernando Alonso to join the team, believing in their project. The Spaniard replaces fellow world champion Sebastian Vettel after the German retired from the sport.

The Silverstone team also have key member, such as Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin, poached from Red Bull and Mercedes. Blandin himself admitted that there are “no excuses” going into the 2023 Formula 1 season. The team went on to say that 90% of their 2023 car will be different to the 2022 challenger, having a “few little things” up its sleeve.

The team are still going through Lawrence Stroll’s five year plan to become a frontrunning team in Formula 1.

Where do you think Aston Martin will be during the 2023 season?

Feature Image Credit: Jared C. Tilton via Getty Images

 

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