Aston Martin boss breaks silence on Lance Stroll’s concerns

Lance Stroll has been struggling with the AMR23, leaving him far behind his teammate Fernando Alonso in 2023.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll has expressed apprehension regarding recent upgrades that were intended to bolster the downforce of the AMR23 Formula 1 car, citing their adverse effect on its rear stability and overall drivability. 

The Silverstone-based team enjoyed an impressive start to the 2023 season, amassing six podium finishes in the opening eight rounds, primarily driven by the remarkable performances of Fernando Alonso. 

Stroll, the Canadian teammate of Alonso, consistently contributed with solid point hauls during this phase. 

However, since the summer break, both Aston Martin and Stroll have encountered a dip in form.

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Apart from one more podium finish from Alonso at Zandvoort, Aston Martin’s points tally has dwindled, and they have been overtaken by both Mercedes and Ferrari in the constructors’ championship standings. 

With only five rounds remaining, Aston Martin is now in a fierce battle to retain their fourth-place position, facing strong competition from McLaren.

The recent decline in performance has been attributed to the dual effects of mid-season upgrades, as explained by Stroll. 

While these developments have provided the car with enhanced aerodynamic performance, they have simultaneously affected its overall handling and drivability.

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Stroll articulated his concerns, stating, “There’s always things in every car, I mean, but I think when the car has been really good this year, I’ve been really happy with it. 

“And it’s just recently it’s been a bit more challenging.”

He continued, “I think we took some directions with philosophy, of bringing upgrades aerodynamically, that I don’t think made us go the step forward that we were hoping for. 

“So, we’re trying to understand that and bring some stuff to the car in the season now to fix that and help the characteristic that we had earlier in the season, where the car was more predictable, and easier to drive, and more forgiving. 

“I think we’ve lost some of that.”

The challenging aspect, according to Stroll, is to comprehend the reasons behind these developments. 

In an ideal scenario, upgrades should result in enhanced speed and performance, but in this case, the unintended consequence has been a car that is more challenging to handle.

Aston Martin’s competitors have capitalised on their recent struggles, narrowing the gap to match the pace of the dominant Red Bull team. 

However, the root causes of Aston Martin’s performance issues remain unclear, despite the feedback from the drivers.

Team principal Mike Krack acknowledged the challenges and uncertainties surrounding Stroll’s declining competitiveness and expressed the need to understand and rectify these issues by the end of the season. 

He stated, “I think we need to prove it first. 

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“The fact is that he has lost a bit of competitivity, and this is something we need to understand.”

Krack further elaborated, “We have suspicions and indications, and this is, I think, what Lance is referring to. 

“But then we need to make the according changes and see, if this is confirmed, that if you improve that, he improves as well.”