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F1 tech review: Aston Martin starts strong, then stumbles

Aston Martin was the surprise package in the early stages of 2023, as it made some decisive changes to the car’s layout and found itself contending at the sharp end.

Aston Martin AMR23 nose and front wing detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio has covered the F1 World Championship since 1969, producing thousands of illustrations that have been reproduced in the world’s most prestigious motor racing publications.

This left it with the responsibility of nipping at the heels of Red Bull during the first few races but, as the order re-established itself, Aston Martin slid back down the standings.

But it did finish two places above its 2022 position. Let’s have a look at what made the AMR23 tick throughout the season.

Aston Martin AMR23 sidepods view

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 sidepods view

Aston employed a deeper trench-style gulley in the upper surface of its sidepods, as it looked to deliver better flow over the sidepod to the rear of the car, while also profiting from the wider sidepod layout that the downwash ramp-style sidepod affords in dealing with the front tyre wake.


Aston Martin AMR23 detail

Photo by: Erik Junius

Aston Martin AMR23 detail

A top-down overview of the AMR23’s sidepod bodywork and how the gulleys are pinched towards the rear section.


 

Aston Martin Racing AMR23, front wing endplate

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin Racing AMR23, front wing endplate

The rearmost front wing flap on the AMR23 features a twisted profile, of which only the rear portion is connected to the endplate, with a metal insert used to prevent it flexing too much. The front section of the flap is then twisted away from the endplate to aid in generating the desired outwash effect.


Aston Martin AMR23 caliper detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 caliper detail

Aston Martin was one of the handful of teams to utilise tube-like cooling fins on its brake calipers to reduce weight and improve cooling (highlighted in yellow).


Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

The front brake assembly has an internal drum section in the upper half with a trench section, which is divisible by a curved strake to help divert the airflow dispatched from the outlet beside it.


Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

A look beneath the trench section shows how the fairing wraps around the front disc.


Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 brake drum detail

The rear disc is similarly covered by a fairing to help with temperature control, while we’re also able to see how the caliper is enclosed.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

A close up of the rear section of the floor, including the cutout and tab-like winglet connected to the underfloor skate. Also note how the rear corner of the floor is rolled up, not only on the outer edge but also the trailing edge.


Aston Martin AMR23 rear wing end plate detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 rear wing end plate detail

Aston Martin was one of the first teams to employ the swage line on the lower outer face of its endplate (red arrow), with the surface used as a means to create some outwash and connect the various aerodynamic structures within its vicinity.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

An overview of the AMR23’s rear end, including the stepped lower edge of the brake duct winglet, the steepening of the diffuser profile near the trailing edge and the trimmed rear wing element.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

A side view of the rear wing showing the difference in distribution between the mainplane and upper flap, while also showing the shape of the upper flap’s leading edge.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

A close up of the forward portion of the floor showing off the various contours of the lipped edge.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

An overview of the chassis, sidepod inlet, undercut and the floor fences, with a stepped approach take on the upper edge of the latter and a pinched feature used between the lower surface of the chassis and leading edge of the floor.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

A look at the internal structure of the nose while the vanity panel is detached also reveals how sensors are packed within.


Aston Martin AMR23 rear brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 rear brake detail

Rows of flow diverters placed in the trench section of the rear brake duct’s inner drum.


Aston Martin AMR23 Detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 Detail

A Kiel probe rake is attached to the side of the car at the Spanish Grand Prix so the team can gather data to ensure they have correlation between their simulation tools and the real world environment.


Aston Martin AMR23 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 detail

A close up of the tab-like winglet that juts out from the underfloor and between the two edges of the rear floor cutout.


Aston Martin AMR23 side Canadian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 side Canadian GP

Changes were made to the sidepod and engine cover bodywork at the Canadian Grand Prix to refine the airflow’s behaviour. Meanwhile, the upper cooling panels were also altered.


Aston Martin AMR23 rear detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 rear detail

A close up of the swage line in the lower half of the rear wing endplate.


Aston Martin AMR23 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 detail

As part of the update package for the Canadian Grand Prix, the team pushed the lower section of the sidepods bodywork out to try and help squeeze the airflow outwards.


Aston Martin AMR23 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 detail

The gulley in the upper surface of the sidepod was also revised in terms of where it begins and how steep the transition is into the gulley.


Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

An overview of the front wing which no longer featured the semi-detached rear flap design, with all of the elements now skewed from the endplate’s plane to help generate outwash.


Aston Martin AMR23 new fin

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 new fin

If there’s an area in the regulations where bodywork can be placed then teams are sure to find a way to use it, with Aston Martin doing exactly this at the Dutch Grand Prix when it introduced a crash structure bow-tie winglet. This device, to help with flow through the diffuser, required new pitstop equipment to be introduced, but even with this it didn’t prove easy to keep the winglet intact during pitstops, meaning the team used the solution sparingly.


Aston Martin AMR23 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR23 detail

An unusual view of the rear wing, showing how the beam wing element is connected to the crash structure, how thick the swage line is on the endplate’s outer face and the metalwork involved with the central pillar.


Aston Martin Racing AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin Racing AMR23 technical detail

A look inside the sidepods without the bodywork in place allows us to see how things are packaged, whilst also revealing the floor stay also hidden away within.


Aston Martin AMR23 floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 floor comparison

Aston introduced a new floor at the United States Grand Prix, which featured the elongated external edge wing that many of their competitors had already been using. The edge wing, like their rivals’ designs, had a twisted profile, with the forward portion rolled over to reveal three strakes beneath.


Aston Martin AMR23 diffuser technical detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR23 diffuser technical detail

A rear view of the AMR23 shows us the minimised cooling solution used in the low temperatures at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, whilst just a single element beam wing configuration was deployed to help boost straightline speed.


Here’s the list of the components that Aston listed as having changed in the car presentation document prior to each race.

  • Saudi Arabia
      • Front wing
      • Rear wing
      • Beam wing
  • Australia
      • N/A
  • Azerbaijan
      • Rear wing
  • Miami
      • Cooling louvres
  • Monaco
      • Front suspension fairing (upper wishbone)
      • FBD fence / deflector
      • Rear suspension fairings
      • RBD inlet and exit ducts etc altered
      • Rear wing
  • Spain
      • Front wing
      • FWEP
      • Nose
      • RWEP
      • Beam wing
  • Canada
      • Floor (leading edge twist bias)
      • Sidepods (gulleys)
      • Cooling louvres (match above)
  • Austria
      • N/A
  • Great Britain
      • Front wing (trim/chord)
      • RBD inlet and exit
  • Hungary
      • Engine cover exit
  • Belgium
      • Floor edge
      • Rear wing
      • Beam wing
  • Netherlands
      • Floor - underfloor volume
      • Floor fences
      • Floor edge
      • Diffuser
  • Italy
      • Rear wing
  • Singapore
      • RBD lower edge of deflector
  • Japan
      • FBD inlet scoop reduced
  • Qatar
      • N/A
  • USA
      • Floor edge
      • Diffuser
      • Sidepod bodywork reprofiled to match floor
      • Beam wing
  • Mexico
      • N/A
  • Brazil
      • N/A
  • Las Vegas
      • Front wing flap trim
      • Engine cover cooling outlet revised
  • Abu Dhabi
    • Rear wing including endplates
    • Beam wing

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