Aston Martin’s Overzealous R&D Hampers Race Performance

Aston's Season Hits Rough Patch

Aston Martin’s pursuit of research and development (R&D) during race weekends has proven to be a double-edged sword. While the team aimed to gear up for 2024, it has unfortunately compromised their performance in the 2023 season.

Between the Lines:

  • Aston Martin has been investing heavily in R&D during race weekends.
  • The team’s performance began to falter after the start of its development program.
  • The team slipped from third to fifth in F1’s Constructors’ standings.
  • Performance director Tom McCullough admits they may have done “a bit too much” R&D.
  • The team now aims to prioritize gaining points in the remaining races.

Go Deeper:

Aston Martin started its 2023 campaign on a high note, with Fernando Alonso scoring six podiums in eight races. However, as the team dove into its development program, its performance started to wane. This downward trend was noticeable, especially after the team introduced a modified floor and diffuser on its AMR23 in Austin. The team was unable to gather sufficient data due to a compressed schedule and a brake issue that emerged during Friday’s single practice.

The slump continued with no improvement in performance at the US Grand Prix and a double DNF (Did Not Finish) at Mexico City. The team did see a significant lift in Brazil, where they implemented an aero package comprised of elements trialed in previous races as part of a full-scale R&D program.

Reflecting on the situation, Aston’s performance director Tom McCullough conceded that the team might have bitten off more than they could chew with their R&D efforts. The team now plans to focus on gaining as many points as possible in the remaining races, rather than continuing with extensive R&D.