Aston Martin's sudden surge to the top of the standings at the start of 2023 was the shock of early rounds of the season, but team boss Mike Krack insists their subsequent slump over the summer was not a disappointment.
Fernando Alonso finished on the podium in six of the first eight races of the season. The team was second in the constructors' championship in the season opener in Bahrain all the way to the Spanish GP in June.
A poor summer for the team saw them overtaken in the points by Mercedes, Ferrari and finally McLaren who moved 11 points ahead of them in the final standings.
Asked if the final result had been a disappointment to the team after such a thrilling start to the campaign, Krack insisted that they had never got carried away with their early success.
“It’s not a disappointment, because you need to be realistic about where you are,” he said.
“We started the year in a very good position, but we also need to analyse why have we been in that position," he explained. "If you really analyse that and be realistic about where you are, then you cannot be disappointed.
"We were surprised – I think everybody was surprised – that some teams were not coming out of the starting blocks as we have expected," he continued. "By developing they came back to their, let's say, more natural position.
"That is something that we cannot influence with the firing power that we were having," he admitted. "From that point of view, I think it would be wrong to say that this is a disappointment.
"It is something that we know that we need to work on for the future, if we want to become a stronger team, but I think it would be not correct to say this is a disappointment.”
Aston Martin performance director, Tom McCullough argued that it was more important that the team gathered the data and learned the lessons to make future campaigns more successful.
"We’re very understanding-led as opposed to results-led, because if you’re too results-led, you can get really lost in this game," he said.
McCullough said that "we’re brutal with ourselves" and used the example of this year's Australian GP as an example of how they had never never got carried away or drunk the Kool-Aid of their early success.
"Melbourne - the third race of the year - we finished third and fourth, so you can say ‘well done’, pat yourself on the back," he commented.
"But we were clearly the fourth-fastest team at that circuit with those characteristics,” he admitted. “And that was race three. So we took a look at all that data and understood why.
“That’s all part of the feeding into the development of the car. That’s the reality. We really are brutal, post-race weekend. It doesn’t matter what result we’ve got, it’s ‘Where were we good? Where were we bad? What do we need to work on?’”
While fifth might have been less than the team might have been hoping for after its explosive start, it was still a big improvement on the previous year where they were seventh behind Alfa Romeo.
In that campaign that took just 55 points, while this year they reaped 280 points. Alonso also took fourth place in the drivers championship after tying on points with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
Alonso - who joined Aston from Alpine at the start of the year - called it his second-best season of his long career in F1, better even than winning his two world championships with Renault in 2005-6.