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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Aston Martin hit “aggressive” development targets for 2023 F1 car

Aston Martin Formula 1 technical director Dan Fallows says the Silverstone team hit the “aggressive targets” it set itself when designing this year’s AM23.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Fallows joined Aston Martin in April 2022 as part of owner Lawrence Stroll’s recruitment drive, having spent 16 years as one of Adrian Newey’s key lieutenants at Red Bull.

The revised design team that also includes former Mercedes aero chief Eric Blandin created a car that Fallows says features 95% new parts, a figure that rivals have acknowledged is high given that a lack of rule changes and the cost cap would typically encourage a high degree of carryover.

After showing encouraging form in testing Fernando Alonso topped Friday’s FP2 session in Bahrain, then repeated the feat in FP3 in an indication that the green car is in the mix with the established big players.

“Firstly, we are pleased with the car,” said Fallows.

“We targeted making a big step on last year's car. So in terms of the performance relative to that, we're definitely happy that we have made a step forwards.

“And we set some fairly aggressive targets for ourselves. And we did sort of largely hit those.

“And we came out of testing believing that we did have a car that we could work with, but where we sit relative to other people, I know you'd love me to give you a prediction, but I'm afraid we just simply don't know.”

Dan Fallows, Technical Director, Aston Martin F1 Team, in a Press Conference

Dan Fallows, Technical Director, Aston Martin F1 Team, in a Press Conference

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Fallows stressed that when it first ran, the car showed a good correlation with what the wind tunnel had predicted.

“The key thing for us going into testing was to make sure that the car on track is doing roughly what we expected from the wind tunnel numbers and from our simulations,” he said.

“I think it's always gratifying as a technical team to have a car on the circuit which is kind of what you were expecting.

“And for us that's really what testing showed us, which is good. The car, it's relatively predictable.

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“It's kind of doing the things we want it to do so that was a very positive thing for us. I think in terms of relative performance, it's really difficult to say.

“I'm delighted there's a lot of excitement around the team, but really, things are done so differently by different teams in testing that it’s really this weekend that we get some inclination of how good the car is.

“I don't think we're necessarily surprised that we hit the target. It’s just that you always have this sort of niggling doubt that something is going to not quite work or that your correlation will let you down and the car that you produce on track doesn't quite do things as you'd expect.”

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