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Formula 1 United States GP

Aston Martin not a sitting duck against McLaren in F1 standings

Aston Martin doesn't believe his team is a sitting duck against a resurgent McLaren in Formula 1's constructors' championship as it introduces upgrades at the United States Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, battles with Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Aston Martin started off the season strongly with six podiums for Fernando Alonso in the first seven grands prix, but rival teams have since caught up with the Silverstone squad.

It has long fallen behind Mercedes and Ferrari and will now face an uphill task to fend off McLaren for fourth as the Woking outfit's recent double podiums have moved it to within 11 points.

Over the past three races McLaren has scored 104 points compared to just 15 for Aston, but when asked by Autosport if his team is now a sitting duck, team principal Mike Krack replied: "No, you always have your destiny in your own hands.

"You have to try and improve the car, which we still try to do. And then try to fight as hard as we can."

Aston continued work on its AMR23, as it is confident that whatever it brings to the car over the remaining five races will still be relevant for 2024.

It will roll out a new package at this weekend's US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, despite the perils of introducing new parts at a sprint weekend.

"We have some updates coming into the weekend, and we're quite interested to see how they work," said technical director Dan Fallows.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

"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.

"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."

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While McLaren passing Aston in the standings appears to be a foregone conclusion based on the form table, team boss Andrea Stella preferred to stay cautious.

When asked about if the fight with Aston will be a walk in the park, he shrugged: "Look, in Formula 1 I don't know of any walk in the park, ever...

"We stay very, very grounded and we saw how marginal things are. We saw [in Qatar] what happened with Mercedes, what happened with Ferrari, [Carlos Sainz] didn't even start.

"And this is not because they are not great teams with great drivers. This is because the sport is very marginal.

"The best thing you can do is just stay focused, humble, and keep delivering. And then we will see in Abu Dhabi."

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