Earlier this month, at the Canadian Grand Prix, Aston Martin revealed a bolder sidepod bodywork and an overhauled floor design for its AMR23 model. These changes helped Alonso clinch his sixth podium spot of the season, trailing behind Max Verstappen in the second place.
However, the Spanish racer expressed concerns that Aston Martin’s pursuit of fully comprehending its update could face hurdles at the forthcoming Austrian GP. The event will be the season’s second sprint round, following Azerbaijan.
The fresh format this year sees the main race’s qualifying session held on Friday, with the sprint event now becoming a standalone entity with its qualifying shootout and race scheduled on Saturday.
This arrangement leaves teams with a single free practice session on Friday afternoon for tweaking their setup and confirming any car enhancements.
“The sprint weekend might not be beneficial for us,” Alonso acknowledged. “Our newly updated car might require more free practice time. We’re still figuring out and aiming to enhance the package a bit.
“In Austria, given the sprint, our only opportunity to do that will be during FP1.”
He added that the track will be conducive, and perhaps even advantageous for the package, suggesting that their pace may increase slightly in Austria.
In the first eight races of the season, Alonso has secured a spot on the podium six times.
Photo by: Patrick Vinet / F1 Flow Images
On the other hand, Mike Krack, the team principal of Aston Martin, is hopeful that the upcoming rounds will offer a “clearer picture” of his team’s position in comparison to competitors, due to moving away from the unique conditions of the Montreal circuit.
He noted, “Canada is unique. As I mentioned in Barcelona, we should usually wait for a couple of races to precisely pinpoint where we stand. The combination of updates and track characteristics makes it challenging to have a clear understanding. Thus, it’s safe to conclude that Red Bull is currently leading…
“Everything else probably depends on various factors such as the day’s condition, the track’s suitability to your car, or the tyres you’re using.”
Krack is not excessively concerned that a shift to more conventional tracks would lead to the team falling behind, especially after Alonso’s strong performance in Canada. He emphasized the recent upgrades appear to be working.
He expressed, “We have a number of tracks lined up featuring a lot of high-speed corners, an area we’ve made improvements in.
“Actually, we’re excited about them. On such tracks, the real power of the Red Bull will become apparent. Also, we will gain a better understanding of how much we need to improve.”
Why Aston Martin has No Plans to Mimic Red Bull F1’s Floor Design
Alonso Describes Aston Project as Most Reassuring in his F1 Career
Aston Martin’s Subtle Approach to its Major Canada F1 Upgrade
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Austria Sprint F1 Upgrade
What concerns does Alonso have about the Austrian GP?
Alonso is worried that the Austrian GP’s sprint format could hinder Aston Martin’s ability to fully understand and optimize their latest F1 car upgrades.
What changes were made to the Aston Martin car for the Canadian GP?
For the Canadian GP, Aston Martin introduced a more aggressive sidepod bodywork and a revised floor design for its AMR23 model.
How has Alonso performed this season before the Austrian GP?
Alonso has had a successful season, securing a spot on the podium six times in the first eight races of the season.
What does Aston Martin’s team principal, Mike Krack, think about the upcoming races?
Mike Krack is hopeful that the upcoming races will offer a clearer picture of Aston Martin’s position relative to its competitors. He is not overly concerned about returning to more conventional tracks and believes the team’s recent upgrades seem to be working.
What is the new format for the main race’s qualifying session?
New for this year, the main race’s qualifying session takes place on Friday, with the sprint event being a standalone entity with a qualifying shootout and race on Saturday.