Aston Martin have “good” amount of budget left to spend on developing 2023 car

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Aston Martin optimistic about improving their car later this year and Rast leaves McLaren’s FE line-up.

In brief

Aston Martin tease development spending later this year

Aston Martin remain in a position where they have money to spend within their 2023 budget on car development, and plan to use it later this year.

The team started this season as the second fastest on the grid, but have since slipped back. However they feel confident of finding more pace with the development opportunities they still have available to explore with their Aston Martin AMR23.

“There’s never one thing and I think it’s often dangerous to hone in on one thing [to improve on],” Aston Martin’s performance director Tom McCullough told RaceFans.

“Our job is to understand what we’ve actually done to our car on track, relative to the development tool, where our relative competitiveness in low, medium, high [speed] corners, straight-line speed – with and without DRS. Obviously each track has different requirements as well. So that side of the analysis, I think we’ve understood what we’ve done to the car.

“The developments that are coming in the second half of the season are already actually addressing some of the areas. Of course you try to address the areas you’re not as strong in. I think really from Zandvoort onwards, we’re going to have some continuous development as we’ve done all year. We still have good budget left to keep developing our car hard. And that’s our plan for the second half of the season.”

Rast leaves McLaren’s FE team

Rene Rast has left McLaren’s Formula E team after just a single season with the squad, but already has plans elsewhere for 2024.

The German first raced in FE back in 2016, then spent one-and-a-half seasons with the Abt-run Audi squad and claimed two podiums. After a year away, he then returned to the championship with McLaren for 2023 and got a fastest lap and a podium in his first three races with the team before they lost competitiveness and he went on a ten-race run of failing to score points.

McLaren said they have “been working in the background to secure the best possible driver line-up for Season 10, and we are excited to announce the full driver line-up for the 2023/24 season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in due course”.

Silverstone to pay parking fines for locals from British GP weekend

Silverstone, the track that hosts Formula 1’s British Grand Prix, will pay the parking fines for residents in the village of the same name after they were caught out by a temporary traffic regulation order during the grand prix weekend.

That placed parking restrictions on local roads, some of which are ordinarily used by residents who park on the roads adjacent to their homes. But during the British GP weekend they were not allowed to, a restriction aimed at visiting spectators seeking to avoid using the pay-to-access circuit car parks.

In total £1,5000 of fixed penalty notices were issued to locals, across 33 fines, and locals said it was an issue they had never experienced before. The circuit has responded saying “the penalty notices that have been received [from locals] are being processed, with refunds to be issued five days from the information being received”.

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Comment of the day

F1’s financial regulations are an equalisation measure that place a cap on how much teams can spend to improve their competitivity. But that cap has locked some teams into using infrastructure inferior to their opponents, with the investment required to bring in new equipment equal to their rivals likely to put them above the maximum spending allowed.

Loosening the regulations to increase capital expenditure is a slippery slope if it enables all teams to spend more. So both no action and the action of enabling a spending increase don’t solve the paddock’s problem. Is there a solution?

If it’s equality you want, then first look at what people have and valuate that. Combine that with both regulated income and spendings. Summarise it and make it equal – on all fronts, which is the essence of the word equal. Otherwise it’s as equal as you and I, assuming we both have a pair of blue trousers somewhere.

All bookkeepers know the system of valuating assets according to an annual depreciation. Not the FIA, apparently. Maybe that’s the result of the FIA, trying to play the role of bookkeeper, a job they have no knowledge of?

This system does not take into account how much was earned and spent over the many years before just the spending was regulated. That’s a job half done.
Coventry Climax

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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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24 comments on “Aston Martin have “good” amount of budget left to spend on developing 2023 car”

  1. Coventry Climax
    16th August 2023, 1:10

    Or…. spend it on a decent driver and make all of us happy!

    There’s plenty that are better than Lance and come at a low cost; you’d even save some AND do some development work.
    Let me rephrase that first part: You’d have a fairly hard job finding anyone worse than Lance.

    1. That wouldn’t make ‘all of us’ happy at all.
      Booting someone simply because they don’t fit your perfect image of what an F1 driver should be is not an improvement to anything. F1’s historical and current driver line-up is, thankfully, extremely diverse – and it’s absolutely true to say that the most talented aren’t always the ones who do the winning.

      Without Lance there would have been no Aston Martin in F1 today, and the team would still be flailing around in the mid-field with a massively smaller budget and with even less accomplished drivers than they currently have. Just like they were prior to Stroll Senior throwing money at it – all the way back to the Jordan days.
      And yes, it IS the same team, even though the business registration changed – before anyone decides to play that card.

      And finally, no, it’s not hard to find drivers – including those who have already been in F1 – who are ‘worse’ than Lance – by whichever objective and/or subjective metrics you wish to use.

      1. Coventry Climax
        16th August 2023, 11:50

        It’s got nothing to do with my image of an F1 driver and everything with the ‘talent’ Lance has displayed over the years.

        it’s absolutely true to say that the most talented aren’t always the ones who do the winning.

        Man, what an open door, language wise. Stating aren’t always does that for you.

        Without Lance, there’s no saying if Lawrence would have shown the same interest in motorracing. That’s what happens when you enter the world of ‘if’s’. So you could be right, you could be wrong. But without Lance, the chance someone else, person or organisation, would have bought Force India, is quite realistic. Would they have been succesful? That’s the world of if’s again, which leaves the option open they could also have been World Champions by now.

        Of the current list of people with a super licence, I think the consensus is that Lance is somewhere in the bottom regions, and I sincerely doubt he’d be put somewhere in the top regions. Mathematically, that means below halfway, making it easier to find someone from the majority. Just nitpicking here, I know. You (choose to?) missed my cynicism. But apparently you have a different opinion and think he’s talented. I’m sure he’s better than a lot that you’ll find on the road – specially during the weekend. But give a group of those people the same amount of patience, opportunity and practice, and I’m not sure Lance would come out on top.

        I’m aware I have a strong opinion, and say things quite directly. I’m too old to be ‘diplomatic’ and beat about the bush any longer and no in risk of losing my job or income because of it. But ever noticed how what I say is generally started with ‘I feel’, ‘I think’, ‘my opinion’ and such? Sure there’s exceptions, and probably not hard to find. some of which are when I fail to convey humor or cynicism.
        But then looking at what you say, the tone is always like you’re the only one telling the absolute truth, told by the great single capital letter, like the capital used in ‘God’, or ‘Majesty’, it would seem. Frequently there’s an ‘IS’, capitalized and claiming the absolute truth.
        However, yours is just an opinion too, nothing more.
        Like in the example of what would have become of the former Jordan team, above. I your world, there’s no other option; they would be dead. In mine there’s room for other possibilities.

        While you praise the diversity in F1 drivers (which in my opinion still leaves a lot to desire) you apparently have problems with diversity in opinions on this site. Mine might be a minority opinion, as you often claim and in the same breath hence condemn as stupid, but that’s what diversity entails; allowing and respecting those too.
        The limit is -as you managed in other posts- where you suggest I go find another sports to watch, as if it’s for you to decide what I should do or not. Eliminating adversaries is what happens in a lot of countries these days. Talking about diversity. Or equality.

        Provided I can find the self control, but I will try not to respond to you anymore.

        1. But without Lance, the chance someone else, person or organisation, would have bought Force India, is quite realistic

          If I remember correctly, Mazepin tried to buy Force India at the time the Lawrence Stroll consortium acquired it, and I think even took them to court since they believed their own offer was better and they were turned down on non-commercial grounds.

        2. Without Lance, there’s no saying if Lawrence would have shown the same interest in motorracing. That’s what happens when you enter the world of ‘if’s’. So you could be right, you could be wrong. But without Lance, the chance someone else, person or organisation, would have bought Force India, is quite realistic.

          I completely agree. S’s repeated comments on this matter are all complete conjecture.

          Yes, Daddy Stroll bought the team as a plaything for his child, and his investments have allowed the team to become much better and stronger. However, there is nothing to say that another investor wouldn’t have been able to do the same, and they may even have been able to do a better job if they hadn’t had the millstone of Lance hanging around their neck. We just don’t know.

          1. @drmouse from what we know about the administration proceedings, it’s not entirely certain that there would have been another buyer.

            When the administrator initially opened proceedings in July 2018, they reportedly received more than 20 initial expressions of interest. However, by the 6th August, which was the deadline for submitting a formal bid, it appears that only 5 parties actually made a formal submission to the administrators.

            Out of those 5 bids, it seems that the bids of 3 of those parties dropped out fairly early in the process, which seems to have therefore left just 2 bids at the end of the process – Stroll’s consortium, which was the winning bid, and Dmitry Mazepin’s bid.

            As noted by Keith Campbell, after his bid was rejected, Dmitry did try to get the decision overturned through legal action, but ultimately lost the legal case.

            From the legal case, it does sound as if Stroll’s consortium were the ones that were the most organised – it seems that Stroll’s consortium were the only ones who talked to the FIA and FOM to discuss the next steps after purchasing the team, for example – and the ones who came up with the most credible long term plan for the team.

            Your alternative option, therefore, seems to have been a team being purchased by Dmitry Mazepin for Nikita to drive around in.

    2. You guys realise driver salaries aren’t include in the budget cap… right?

      1. Coventry Climax
        16th August 2023, 17:20

        Yeah. It was meant playful, although I do rank Lance lowly. And then all this happened.

    3. Lance is average. He’s not awful. I doubt Kevin Magnussen would be doing much better. Also, remember Alonso is a guy who has shut out solid to very good drivers like Van Doorne and Kimi in qualifying and scored triple the points of Kimi as well and close to it with Massa. And did similar things to other teammates. He’s a career crushing teammate for all but the best drivers. Ocon is good, but if Alonso didn’t have more than eight retirements while in the points last season, he would have made him look silly too.

  2. Coventry Climax
    16th August 2023, 1:27

    Is there any chance the money W Series owe still gets paid back?
    From those mentioned, there’s a couple I feel quite sorry for.

    1. As a lawyer with some experience in these matters (though not W Series specifically) the answer is, most likely, no.

      W Series, as a corporate entity, will be a special purpose vehicle set up specifically to run the series. It will have no funds other than (a) those injected by its shareholders (most likely a nominal amount) and (b) those funds it generated itself through borrowings (likely a combination of bank debt and shareholder loans), broadcasting deals (though I’m not sure they did any broadcasting deals) or merchandising, for example.

      If you are a creditor to a company at the time it does insolvent/into administration your chance of being repaid in full once all the assets of the company are liquidated are slim. You’ll likely get “pennies in the Pound/Dollar” if anything. The shareholders of the company, even if they are wealthy, will have no legal right to repay you with their own funds unless their has been fraud or wilful misconduct because the company is a separate legal entity.

      1. Coventry Climax
        16th August 2023, 12:12

        Yeah, I’m sort of aware of how that normally goes.
        Wondered if there’s a chance there’s any assets of worth to be sold, people that could be held responsible/accountable, or even some sort of funds to -partly- compensate the losses.
        Wasn’t W Series FIA sanctioned? Would be a nice gesture if they could help out, even if just a bit.

      2. @geemac indeed, and that’s even why in some countries companies are legally bound to pay provisional expenses to a fund for employees which then takes care of paying the salaries left to pay.

        1. AFAIK, employees normally have preferential status when their employer goes insolvent, and will normally receive their wages in full. Everyone else gets, at best, a share of what’s left over. It’s part of the risk you take when you give a company credit.

    2. Billy Monger isn’t he a youngster who is a driver why would he owns money to a women series ?

      Or was that as investor ?

      1. @macleod – He may have done paid work for them as a mentor or maybe commentary – not sure

      2. Sadly, after losing his legs after that horrible crash, Monger has been retired for a few years and has been working as a pundit and commentator ever since, including for W Series.

        1. Coventry Climax
          16th August 2023, 12:16

          Sad as it is, I’m sure he prefers to be known for other things than ‘the guy that lost both legs’.
          Not sure if @macleod and @ahxshades omitted that on purpose, but I like to think they did.

  3. If you are talking drivers the IndyCar Mount Rushmore would be Foyt, Unser Snr, Mears and Castroneves surely…

    1. Scott Dixon, if he can win the 500 a couple more times. Only Castroneves could be dropped, no championships.

      1. I was thinking more of the 500, but for the series generally Dixon would need to be there.

  4. Ofc, every development this season will be wholly useful for next season with entirely stable technical regs, so continuing development deep into the season isn’t necessarily unwise.

  5. What’s with the Formula Nacional post? It’s one of the many series that run in my country. What’s special about it?

  6. I mean sure they have some budget to keep making updates as they’ve said they’ve been doing all year. But they were very adamant at the start of the season that they spent more on the initial package and will have less significant updates throughout the year.

    Some updates do not mean significant/major updates like what McLaren and Mercedes have brought. We have not seen anything of that level of significance from Aston Martin now would I expect to see that.

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