Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has emphasised the significance of the next upgrade set to be introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.
At best, the British side have been inconsistent this season, and they have joined a number of other teams in wondering why they are quick in some scenarios, and not in others.
For instance, Sebastian Vettel made it to Q3 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix before scoring points in the wet race, having fallen back down the order in dry conditions in the sprint race.
Both Vettel and Lance Stroll were eliminated in Q1 in Canada in the wet having looked extremely strong both in the dry, and the wet FP3, before Lance Stroll recovered to score a point in the dry race.
Their issues in Montreal were ultimately put down to a tyre pressure issue, but there was little explanation for why the same thing happened in a rain-affected qualifying in Silverstone, with Vettel going on to finish ninth on Sunday.
It has been a confusing year for those of a green persuasion in Formula 1 this season, and the latest upgrades, Krack hopes, will give the side a better understanding of the direction they need to go in, and how they can afford to spend against their $140 million budget.
“It is very important, because you will know where we are in the championship and we need to carefully weigh cost cap for the upgrades, and AMR23,” he said.
“So it will be super important and super critical to find out where we really are, and then extrapolate obviously, what can we achieve with the package that we have? Or what further steps do we have to do?”
Finding a good setup for next season – the second year of the current technical regulations – will not be easy though, because there are changes being implemented to help the teams counter the “porpoising” and bouncing issues that come with the ground effect aerodynamics.
It essentially means that a lot of the work this year that has gone into developing for 2023 could be thrown out of the window.
“Yeah, it is that simple, the continuity helps,” explained Krack.
“And that is why [the change next year] is not really desirable.
“Let’s say we find an improvement, and we cannot afford it anymore. Then we have to delay it to next year.
“But vice versa, if you can still afford it, you take something that you put now that you can also take into the next year, whereas when the rules change, you can’t.”
Aston Martin were displaced by Haas in the battle for eighth in the Constructors’ Standings last weekend in Silverstone when Mick Schumacher finished eighth and tenth respectively, with Vettel sandwiched in between them. Stroll ended up 11th and out of the points.