Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Silverstone, 2024

Aston Martin chairman Stroll targets ‘better than fifth’ in 2024

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In the round-up: Lawrence Stroll wants to see his team improve on fifth in the championship this season

In brief

Stroll targets ‘better than fifth’

Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll says that he wants to see his team improving on their fifth place in the constructors’ championship in 2024.

The team took eight podium finishes in 2023 on their way to their best championship result as Aston Martin. Stroll says he expects his team to do “better than that” in 2024.

“We’d like to go up from fifth to fourth, third – whatever it may be,” Stroll said. “But [the target is] just to continue progression.

“We’re a young team. We just moved into a new facility. Our wind tunnel, which will be ready in September of this year – we’re the last team to be running without their own wind tunnel. In 2026, we get Honda power units. So we’re on a journey to win. But every year, it’s about progression.”

Horner to attend Red Bull launch today

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who is the subject of an internal investigation following allegations made about his conduct, is expected to attend the launch of the team’s new car today. No further comment has been made by the team or the wider Red Bull organisation on the investigation or when it might be resolved.

The team has already run its new RB20 chassis in a private shakedown test at Silverstone two days ago.

Ecclestone denies urging Horner to resign

Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has publicly denied reports that he has encouraged Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to resign from the team.

Horner is currently the subject of an independent investigation triggered by parent company Red Bull into allegations made against him. In a post on social media, Ecclestone rebuffed reports he had told Horner to step down.

“To clarify, reports by newspapers that I had urged or suggested that Christian Horner should step down from his position in Red Bull is entirely untrue,” Ecclestone said.

iRacing wet weather update coming in March

iRacing have confirmed that their long-awaited Tempest real-time weather system will come to the game next month.

The racing simulator will introduce wet weather racing for the first time with the release of the next major update in March. Only select cars will be supported when the update is released, including 11 cars across GT3, GTP and LMP2 classes as well as F4, FF1600 and the Toyota GR86. iRacing say support for more cars will be added over time.

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Comment of the day

After Mercedes unveiled their W15 with a revised livery for 2024, Konstantinos enjoys the simplistic design…

With a risk of repeating myself, one more simple, mostly solid colour livery that looks – in my opinion – way better than some of the more messy complicated ones. Ferrari and Aston Martin are others that follow a similar logic.

I think simplicity is one of the reasons why certain liveries are so iconic, like the classic McLaren Marlboro one – simple solid colours, distinctive and recognisable. Same goes for helmets really, Villeneuve had some great ones, Ayrton Senna’s one is iconic. Nowadays, who remembers anyone’s helmet design? I shouldn’t speak for everyone but I certainly don’t.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to East Londoner, Ives F1, Mouse_Nightshirt, Tim P, Tom and Enigma!

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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20 comments on “Aston Martin chairman Stroll targets ‘better than fifth’ in 2024”

  1. Ecclestone denies urging Horner to resign?

    Media generating a media story off a non-event (probably already falsly reported by media) and fueling the controversy with an inherent bias. Brilliant but i do find it distasteful.

  2. Neither “urged” nor “suggested” still leaves room for “told” or “instructed”. Given the old tax fraud only ever opens his mouth to spite someone or further his own agenda (or, ideally, both), there’s almost certainly more behind the reports of his involvement than the quote suggests!

    1. Exactly. Jem

  3. Coventry Climax
    15th February 2024, 2:12

    The most important part of Perez’ helmet is on the inside, where, through electrodes, a completely autonomous Oracle AI system bypasses his brain and controls all of his limbs. Ofcourse the system isn’t fully mature yet, but it’s database is mostly fed with Verstappen’s last year data, in order to get that part faultless as close as possible.

    1. Coventry Climax
      15th February 2024, 2:17

      PS: You didn’t get it from me, but that’s where the complaint about Horner’s inappropriate conduct came from. Those electrodes are sharp as needles and hurt like hell, but Horner ‘forgot’ to tell him.

      1. Lol nice one !

  4. Even though a team member ofc filmed those clips, I still like that Lando used an opportunity to be sarcastic.

  5. Unfortunately this round-up is also “a missed opportunity to engage meaningfully with the F1 audience”.

  6. That item in the first link from “i News” is a prime example of a journalist stamping his feet because people wont tell him things that he wants them to.

    Ferrari and Mercedes have every right to control what they say about Lewis’ move at the end of the season, they should not need to discuss it on some imagined timetable that a petulant journalist tries to enforce – they should (and probably will) address things when its best for themselves.

    1. @ahxshades Agree 100%. Additionally, why on earth would they expect Hamilton/Mercedes to talk about Ferrari at a Mercedes launch event? It has precisely nothing to do with Ferrari, nor Hamilton’s move there. I’m sure the time will come for more discussions regarding Hamilton and Ferrari, for example a Thursday (or are they Friday now?) press conferences, but this is not the time I think anyone would expect it to be covered.

    2. @ahxshades

      Indeed. And in the context of Bernie exposing that newspapers lied, it takes on an even more sinister tone, where if you don’t play along, they will destroy your reputation with falsehoods.

      It’s pretty much the mafia playbook: ‘That’s a nice reputation you got there, would be a shame if anything happened to it.’

    3. The inews article is hilarious.

    4. He seems to focus on not understanding why Hamilton left Mercedes. I though that was pretty clear from what Wolff said; they couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to Hamilton long term, so a 1+1 deal was basically a take it or leave it offer to him. That suggests that Mercedes already had a good idea who will be in their cars in 2026 – and it’s not a then 41-year-old Lewis Hamilton.

      Also, this reads like the idea of someone leaving a job is a completely new thing. But people leave jobs at predetermined times all the time. That doesn’t mean they spend the rest of their time under contract talking about their new job… that’d just be weird. These guys are professionals, they know how this works.

  7. I’m ‘staggered’ by the comments of Stroll expecting Aston Martin to, essentially, bring home fourth place in the constructors championship (or better).

    The only possible way that will happen is if it’s miserable times for Hamilton’s last year at Mercedes. Still, the chances of Aston beating Mercedes is at most 1%.

  8. Stroll can target higher than 5th as much as he likes but while his kid is in the second seat he’s relying on Alonso to do it singlehandedly. Like Stroll’s not a terrible driver but he’s certainly the predominant anchor that’s holding Aston back from higher than 5th and if by a miracle they achieve it this year it will be largely down to Alonso alone.

    1. if they had Vettel and Alonso, that team could be taken more seriously.

      1. Vettel was looking to be getting worse each year, and wasn’t really much better than Stroll once he retired. If say he came back after missing a season, I’m really not sure he’d be a better option for the team than Stroll. Vettel and Alonso also don’t get along and things could get messy.

  9. Re COTD:

    I do think there’s still some iconic helmet designs on the grid. Verstappens one with the lion on top (not my taste, but certainly distinctive), Hamiltons purple, and Vettels with the clear German band on it for example.

    In general I do think that helmet designs are helped by maintaining a single feature throughout a career, be it a design element or a colour scheme. Specials should also incorporate that if you want it to stick.

  10. Lawrence’s comment is very unfortunate, and will create a lot of stress at Aston Martin. Last season Lance Stroll was 10th on the World Drivers’ Championship table (74 points), while Fernando Alonso was 4th (206 points). When Lawrence Stroll says he wants his team, Aston Martin, to finish the 2024 season better than 5th it means Lance and Fernando need to bring home more points. Actually, one can’t help but suspect the burden of responsibility will fall on Fernando because no one in the team is supposed to question Lance’s ability, dedication, determination, or skill. Nor the amount of time he spends in the simulator and evenings spent swatting for the next Grand prix.
    The first team ahead of Aston Martin on the World Constructors’ Championship table is McLaren – Mercedes, one of the best F1 teams ever, with two very good drivers, both of whom finished the 2023 season ahead of Lance, and behind Fernando. McLaren completed the season with 302 points, which is 22 points ahead of AM. So AM need to find another 23 points from somewhere. Fernando, who completed the season ahead of both McLaren drivers, had only three GP Races where he didn’t score points, two of which were retirements. So one could argue this means he only had one non-points scoring race, so instead of a non-points finish he will need to be scoring points at races at every Grand prix this season, and to win one race as well. Last season Fernando did an excellent job, but winning a race besides points scoring at every Grand prix just seems such a huge challenge, I just can’t see how he is going to do a better job than what he’s already doing.
    It would be nice to think that Lance would rise to this challenge and assist Fernando in obtaining the necessary points for AM to finish the 2024 season in a better place, but since one isn’t supposed to question his ability, determination, skill, preparation for the forthcoming Grand prix, etc, one is left suspecting Aston Martin are unlikely to get better than 5th.
    As I said, it is unfortunate Lawrence stated his goal publicly because Aston Martin could achieve more, but, as in the case of the chain being as strong as its weakest link, so Aston Martin’s ambitions are limited by their least skilful driver.

    1. You’ve not stopped at dipping your toe into the realm of hypotheticals, but completely dived in over your head.
      Aston Martin can only do their best – what the others do and how everyone compares to each other is yet to be determined. They could have a worse year than last year and still potentially finish in the top 3 in the championship this year, as nothing has been decided yet. Last year was last year, and if nothing else, this year can be guaranteed to be at least slightly different.

      Nobody is questioning Lance’s performance more than he is himself. But that’s only part of the problem – he’s always going to be affected by how comfortable and confident he can be in the car he is given. Every driver is. The most successful drivers are usually the ones who are happiest in their machinery.
      At the beginning of last year, Lance was getting pretty decent results, anyway – much like Perez was in his car….
      Of course, a lot of people don’t understand this reality and how much of a difference it makes.

      as in the case of the chain being as strong as its weakest link, so Aston Martin’s ambitions are limited by their least skilful driver.

      As far as results go – Red Bull beg to differ, I’d imagine. They won both championships with only one driver last year…

      The weakest link in the car racing chain is rarely the driver. It’s entirely on the team to make their drivers comfortable and confident, and to give them the tools and support they need to maximise every opportunity.

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