Aston Martin face “big challenge” introducing update at sprint race weekend

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Aston Martin have slipped down the competitive order, but are working to remedy that with more upgrades for their AMR23 this weekend.

In brief

Sprint weekend may limit Aston Martin’s progress

Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows has admitted the team are disappointed they are no longer in contention for podiums as they were earlier this year, but hope to address some of their slump in form with new parts for their car this weekend.

“We have some updates coming into the weekend, and we’re quite interested to see how they work,” he said. “In some ways its a shame that it’s a sprint weekend because we’d like to have more time to dial in those updates and see how the cars will perform.

“It will be a big challenge to gain that understanding as early as possible. We’re looking forward to seeing how these upgrades perform and, hopefully, it’s a track where we should be reasonably competitive if we can get everything right.”

Fallows admitted some of the changes the team made to its car this year have been detrimental to its performance.

“We did have a very good start to the season, and we’ve obviously been disappointed with the way it’s panned out in recent races, but this experience has enabled us to learn some valuable lessons which we’re trying to take into next year – we can see where we went wrong in terms of upsetting the car balance,” he said.

“We’ve understood why that’s hurt our overall performance. Now, it’s a question of making sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again; it’s certainly been a year of learning.”

Ferrari junior Beganovic to spend second year in F3

Dino Beganovic will stay with Prema in the FIA Formula 3 championship next year, after coming sixth in the standings this season.

The Ferrari junior has almost exclusively raced for Prema since starting his car racing career in 2020, the exception being campaigns in Asia where he has driven for the Prema-supported Mumbai Falcons team.

He came third in the Italian Formula 4 championship as a single-seater rookie. He then spent three years in Formula Regional, winning one race in the Asian championship, two in the Middle Eastern and four in the European as he claimed the title in that championship last year. His rookie FIA F3 campaign featured four podium finishes.

HMD Motorsports names nine-car Indy Nxt test line-up

HMD Motorsports mission to expand their single-seater programmes was on display when they announced their line-up for Indy Nxt post-season testing on Wednesday. The team will run nine cars, four piloted by drivers it has already signed for 2024 and five others going to drivers who are considering racing for the team in IndyCar’s primary support series next year.

The new names are Alpine-supported FIA F3 race-winner Caio Collet, his series rival Kalyen Frederick, USF Pro 2000 race-winner Michael d’Orlando, FREC racer Niels Koolen and Josh Pierson, who is currently fighting to be runner-up in the World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 class. The four drivers HMD have already signed for next season are Indy Nxt race-winners Nolan Siegel and Reece Gold, series veteran Christian Bogle and reigning USFP2000 champion Myles Rowe.

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Comment of the day

Haas’s team principal Gunether Steiner recently spoke to RaceFans about his team’s status in F1, what it could mean if another American team were to enter and why at some point the paddock’s existing members should have a discussion about the fact Red Bull owns two teams in the championship.

Looking back over the last couple of years, 2022 was going to be the big one for Haas. They sacrificed 2021 to work on the ’22 car. That season came and went and all we remember is Schumacher’s crashes. 2023 came and all would be good for Haas because with the Moneygram sponsorship they could finally operate at the budget cap. What do they have to show for that currently? Not much. They again failed to develop throughout the season.

Apart from hoping that Ferrari get the fundamentals right for next year which Haas can benefit from, Steiner should really try hard to buy himself some proper technical leadership which can analyse the situation and set direction. Resta might be a good engineer but he might be out of his depth and need support.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Daykind and Estesark!

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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13 comments on “Aston Martin face “big challenge” introducing update at sprint race weekend”

  1. Ferrari looks amazing! Straight to the top of my to-watch list.

  2. Good points on in the CotD about Haas – it seems they really are far too much reliant on whether Ferrari do a good job over the winter, and even if that was the case, Haas has not been able to make any in season development work.

    I am curious to see whether they manage this race, but not really expecting too much. Which is a shame since the team at least has to decent drivers again after several years of fielding rookies and not knowing what to do with them.

  3. I just don’t get why Aston Martin are still getting updates so late in to the season. They’ve already dropped the ball massively with in-season development. They really should have moved all their focus to the 2024 car after the summer break.

    I don’t think they really need the additional money gained from a P4 finish vs. a P5 finish. If they really cared about money, Lance would be gone already. They could use the extra wind tunnel time on the top 4 teams for next season, if they aim to move further. So, a P5 finish isn’t the end of the world for them.

    Unless this update forms a crucial part of their 2024 challenger, it feels like they’re making a blunder with their resource allocation.

    1. If you still have budget to spare on this year’s car, why would you waste it?

      If it is an evolution that you can carry over to next year, I think it makes perhaps sense to put it under this year’s budget cap rather then next year’s.

      1. It all goes down to whether the upgrade will be useful for next year’s challenger.

        There’s always an option of using this year’s budget for next year’s car as well – Maybe hire more engineers and designers to work on the 2024 car, but include them in the 2023 budget. It should give them a better car out of the box next season

        1. @todfod It depends on the approach for next year and how long it takes for them to scan RedBull’s car and do a replicate. Without major rule change, I expect teams are also more likely to continue the work on the current car as the learnings should transfer to next year to some extend.
          AM case also highlights the limitation of copying another car, it might be fast at first but then the team might not have the full understanding of how it works as an assembly of pieces making harder to develop.

          1. But isn’t that all the more reason to not replicate Red bull, and get more resources to think on the platform of the 2024 car? If they’re still launching updates means that they’re following the red bull copy route… Which hasn’t worked great for them.

        2. You can use budget-cap money from this season and apply it to next seasons car? That seems like a major loophole. Why not just abandon `24 and `25 seasons and spend all that cap money on the `26 car?(if the `26 specs are released yet) Would work out well for a team like Sauber-Audi or Andretti, if he manages to make the grid.

          1. It’s barely a loophole. Every year the budget doesn’t state that the (human) resources are allocated only for that year’s car. When teams say they’re shifting their focus to next year’s far, I’m pretty sure it involves using current resources for next season.

    2. There’s so much carryover in these cars that the concept of “next year’s car” doesn’t make sense anymore. An improvement to the car now will carry over to next season. Moreover, they need to understand if their new development direction is the correct one after getting it so wrong with earlier updates. And the only way to know for sure is put it out on track.

  4. Unless Aston’s upgrade is something along the lines of “Replacing Lance with a driver who is competent and is clearly motivated to be in F1”, I fear they’re going to continue to struggle…

    1. I’m uninspired by Lance as the next fan, but he’s not the source of why the car has fallen so far behind in terms of pace. He’s just the reason they’re going to end up fifth instead of second in the WCC.

      1. I’m as uninspired*

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