The Silverstone-based team is recovering from a poor start to the season in which it got the concept wrong with its AMR22, before making a radical change at the 2022 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.
And while it looks like they will finish ninth in the constructors’ championship this year, they believe they have made enough progress behind the scenes to make some steps forward in 2023.
The team has shown its ambition by signing Fernando Alonso for next season, making the most of its time and opportunities after Vettel’s retirement was confirmed.
That ability to react has brought out one of the strengths that his engineering team believes can be extrapolated to the car.
Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough said: “I think the team has always been very agile. It’s always been a small team, with a few key people making the decisions. It’s not a big bureaucratic company.”
“When I come back from every weekend, my job now is to report to Andrew Green and Dan Fallows . That changes the way we work slightly, but we try to keep the good parts of how we worked before, also adding what we think we need to progress and get to the next level,” he added.
McCullough cited as an example the fact that the team wasted no time after discovering they had gotten the 2022 car wrong and quickly worked on a new concept which they debuted before the halfway point.
“We were trying during the pre-season tests and the first few races to get new parts to the car to solve the porpoising and find a bigger operating window,” he said.
“But you get to a point where, even with your development tools, the wind tunnel, the CFD simulations and the track tests, we weren’t making the progress we wanted.”
“Then at some point you have to say ‘ok, we have to do something’. During the first phase of development of the car, we had developed two different routes. We even designed a chassis that could adopt the radiators of two different concepts and more things like that. .
“There came a point where we said ‘OK, this first route looked good, but we had underestimated the problem of porpoising, so let’s try the other philosophy.'”
“We looked at all the data we had and started working with that in the wind tunnel and, boom, we got it on the car as fast as we could. It was a lot of work on the manufacturing and production side to get the package through to Spain”.
While Aston Martin continues to progress under Lawrence Stroll , McCullough believes the team can grow further without losing some of the key aspects internally so far.
“I think that way of making decisions has always been one of the strengths on this team,” he said. “We have to maintain that, because every race is important.”
Although the AMR22 has proven to be a weak car on most circuits, it does appear to have some strong points. For example GPS data has shown that it is better than Red Bull in low speed corners, something that could benefit it at the Singapore GP this weekend.
In response to a question from Motorsport.com as to whether such good low-speed cornering showed that there were some qualities that are hidden in the AMR22 , McCullough said: “Actually, the car has performed quite well in low-speed corners. speed in all this time, and we have it in the data compared to others”.
“Our big goal has been to improve in the high-speed corners, something that we seem to have been doing lately. For example in Red Bull, their car is very efficient and very fast on the straight, and we are far from them, although almost as the entire grill,” he concluded.