Aston Martin could catch Red Bull with significant development advantage

The story of 2023 Bahrain GP was unquestionably Aston Martin but this might only be the start for the British team

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Aston Martin are the most improved Formula 1 team in 2023 and they could even have the tools to catch Red Bull by the end of the current F1 season.

The British manufacturer made a number of big changes to their staff over the off-season in an attempt to vault themselves up the grid and it looks to have worked a treat.

Fernando Alonso stormed to his 99th career podium at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix and Lance Stroll nursed a broken toe and wrist injuries to sixth, ahead of George Russell in the Mercedes.

Such results would have been hard to dream of last season but the wave of changes has already made a big mark on the F1 landscape.

The development, though, may have only just begun as their upgrade speed last season was among the fastest on the grid and they could do so again to get close to the dominant Red Bull team.

They were able to get a head start on their 2023 car by making big changes to their original design for 2022 and that momentum has carried on.

Facilities on the way

For the duration of their time as an F1 team, Aston Martin, and the many names they have had prior, have been working out of the same factory next door to Silverstone.

Lawrence Stroll bought the team in 2018 and quickly put down plans to build a brand new facility to help catapult the team and that is very nearly finished and ready for business.

If that can find a few extra tenths per lap then it will be money very well spent for Aston Martin who could claim an argument to being the second-best team in F1 right now.

They also have 58% more wind tunnel time than Red Bull after their cost-cap punishment further reduced their ability to upgrade at a rapid rate.

Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in 2023 Bahrain GP practice | Aston Martin F1 Team

Aston Martin’s development in 2022

The 2022 F1 season saw Aston Martin go from the second-slowest car on the grid to occasionally fighting with McLaren and Alpine as they duelled over fourth in the standings thanks to a rapid development schedule as seen below.

  • Bahrain: background; mirrors; radiator vents; floor edge wing.
  • Saudi Arabia: low downforce rear wing.
  • Australia: high downforce rear wing.
  • Barcelona: flat bellies and new arrangement of radiators; floor; venturi channels inlet grid; withdrawal of the radiator vents; high-load rear wing.
  • Canada: rear wing upper flap.
  • Silverstone: refining the floor and grid of Venturi channels; aerodynamic side vents; aerodynamic appendices rear brake air intakes; beam-wing.
  • Hungary: high load rear wing.
  • Spa: low downforce rear wing and front wing flaps.
  • Monza: low downforce front and rear wing upper flaps.
  • Singapore: outer edge of the floor.
  • Japan: beam-wing.
  • Mexico: rear wheel unit vertical deflectors.
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for Total-Motorsport.com and a top class F1 writer.
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