Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2023

Working around new floor rule “was actually quite fun” for Aston Martin

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In the round-up: Aston Martin’s technical director expresses his support for latest changes to F1’s aerodynamic rules.

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In brief

Fallows had “fun” adapting Aston Martin’s 2023 car to floor rule change

One of Formula 1’s technical rule changes for 2023 is raising the minimum height of cars’ floor edges by 15mm, a move to reduce the porpoising that impacted many teams last season, and it has presented a design challenge for engineers as the greater space around and beneath the car’s floor reduces downforce.

Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows talked about the rule at the launch of his team’s new AMR23 car, and revealed his technical team was enthused by the extra challenge from the regulation change.

“I think it was the right thing to do to try to make a change to the regulations to help out this bouncing,” he said.

“We all know that the teams are tending to want to run the car right up to the limit. So by regulation, allowing some some degree of freedom in there makes an awful lot of sense. It did hurt in terms of the downforce of the car but we went into the development saying ‘well, we wanted to get round that as quickly as possible’, and then to develop further. So that was a big thing for us.”

Aston Martin have already shaken down the AMR23 at Silverstone, and reserve driver Felipe Drugovich will be first to drive the car in official testing due to race driver Lance Stroll being injured. Only then will the team get a true understanding of how successful they have been with their work around the floor edges.

“Interestingly, any time you touch anything particularly that sensitive on the car, it has other effects on the floor and the aerodynamics around the rear of the carin particular,” Fallows added.

“And actually that was quite a fun challenge to try to see how we could sort of take that disadvantage, if you like, and turn it into an advantage. So it was actually quite fun to work with that fact. Any rule changes are usually very good fun.”

McLaren enquires with Red Bull and Honda about their F1 engines

McLaren has approached Red Bull Powertrains and Honda over a potential power unit deal for 2026.

The team is one of Mercedes’ three engine customers. However the manufacturer indicated last year it intends to reduce the number of customer teams it supplies in future.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the team is “very happy with Mercedes” at present but he and team principal Andrea Stella are considering their options for the future.

“We’re not in a big rush and we are very happy with Mercedes so we’ll see how things play out over the next year or so before we need to make a decision,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

Indy Nxt to support NASCAR at Indianapolis

IndyCar’s primary support series Indy Nxt has tweaked its calendar to move its first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from May to August.

The May event had been a double-header, so will still include one Indy Nxt race on the track’s road course, and the new date for the race brings it onto NASCAR’s ‘Brickyard Weekend’.

Between the 11th and 13th of August, IndyCar, Indy Nxt, the top-level NASCAR Cup Series and its supporting NASCAR Xfinity Series will now all be in action at IMS.

“To feature Indy Nxt during this elite NASCAR-IndyCar weekend is a tremendous opportunity,” said Indy Nxt’s series director Levi Jones.

“This season, 19 Indy Nxt entries will compete for the 2023 championship – the most since 2009. It is a growing series matching the growing IndyCar paddock and a phenomenal moment to showcase the next generation of stars on a huge stage.”

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Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton is hoping his Mercedes car will return him to the front of F1 this year, and fans want to see the team fight 2022 dominator Red Bull too.

I hope Mercedes is fast for all sorts of reasons. First to add more spice to the overall championship. It’s clear there is a ton of bad blood between Red Bull and Merc and they love to beat one another. Ferrari and Red Bull just lacked that extra spice last year. At least during the beginning of the season when it was a close championship. But I also want Merc to be fast so we can see a real battle between Lewis and George. Last year they were clearly limited by the car. I hope this year we see some sparks between them as they fight for intra-team dominance.

The other thing I note from the article is the old cliche “you don’t forget how to win.” If you don’t know why you were winning in the first place, then there is nothing to forget. So teams can undoubtedly go from hero to zero very quickly if they don’t understand what led to their success. I am not saying that is the case with Merc, but it is foolish to equate past success with future success, especially when a significant component of that success has been altered through a major change in regulations.

Happy birthday!

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On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1953: Satoru Nakajima

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Working around new floor rule “was actually quite fun” for Aston Martin”

  1. Mclaren-Ford from 2026 would be interesting.

    I disagree with BE.

    I couldn’t agree more with COTD, & additionally, another chance at achieving a record-breaking 8th WDC for HAM.

    1. I know HAM has previously said he doesn’t look at records or stats but I’m sure if he’d won his 8th WDC he’d be off promoting his new next big project….

  2. If I’m Chairman of the Board of McLaren, I fire Zak Brown on the spot when he recommends we switch to Honda power for 2026.

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