Aston Martin targets Red Bull with new AMR24

Aston Martin’s Formula One team has launched the car it hopes will close the gap to reigning champions Red Bull in 2024.

The team says the new car, named AMR24, is an evolution of last year’s model, which started the season competing for regular podiums but lost ground to its main rivals midway through the year.

After running in second place early in the 2023 season, Aston Martin finished fifth in last year’s championship, 22 points behind McLaren, 126 off Ferrari, 129 off Mercedes and 580 points off Red Bull.

Despite the significant gap to the front, technical director Dan Fallows is confident his team learned lessons from its 2023 campaign and believes Red Bull’s rivals will all close the gap to the front of the grid this season.

“I think, inevitably, when you have a team that’s doing as well as Red Bull have done since 2022, it’s inevitable that there will be some kind of convergence on their solutions,” Fallows said.

“I think, with the regulations that we have now, it is not particularly easy to have cars that are visually very different, so it’s inevitable, I think, that we would see some of that convergence. I think what’s in many ways more interesting is the convergence in lap times that we’ve seen — people are getting very close.

“We’re really into finding lap time now from things that are smaller details, the more kind of detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car. But there’s still a lot of lap time to come.

“We take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable, that’s what we’re chasing after we’re focusing on them, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Although Aston Martin went backwards relative to its closest competitors last year, Fallows believes the team finished 2023 with a strong development direction for this year’s car.

“We’re always looking to improve and learn, and I think when we look at the trajectory of last season, we gave ourselves some challenges and we’ve managed to solve them,” he added. We came off at the end of the season, having got on top of some issues that we introduced into the car midseason and ended up with a podium in Brazil.

“So we just showed that there is a huge amount of determination and capability in this team. But it’s important to us that represented momentum, and we wanted to take that momentum into the winter and into this car, which I’m confident we have done.”

The team has stuck with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll as its drivers this year and will continue to use Mercedes engines, gearboxes and certain parts of the rear suspension.

Fallows identified the new AMR24’s nose and front wing as some of the more obvious changes to the car’s design, but insists there is huge amount more that has been improved under the bodywork.

“We’ve made changes all over the car,” he said. “It’s very different in many ways — the majority of the parts have changed on it.

“But it is really still essentially a strong evolution of last year’s car. So, we have kind of built on the end of AMR23.

“There are the obvious things you’ll see that are different, like the nose and front wing, but the bodywork will be different. There’s also obviously quite a lot of stuff under the hood, but we will obviously try and keep some of that under wraps.

“The front suspension layout is a similar layout to what we had on a AMR23 — a push rod system — and we’ve inherited new rear suspension from Mercedes. They obviously give us the gearbox and the structure of the rear suspension, so that has changed slightly from last year as well.

“So there’s a change on the rear, but the front is very similar.”

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