Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows describes the team’s new AMR24 as a "strong evolution" of its predecessor, but with key changes implemented to address past shortcomings.
Aston Martin is aiming to write a more successful chapter in their Formula 1 story this season, building upon the promising foundation laid in 2023.
Last year saw a glimmer of hope for the Silverstone-based team. They soared above expectations, collecting an impressive 255 points more than 2022.
However, their early-season brilliance, where they closely challenged Red Bull's dominance, was dampened by struggles with upgrades.
Undeterred, Aston Martin rallied and found their footing again in the season's latter half. Now, Fallows reveals how they've utilized these experiences to propel them forward.
“We’ve made changes all over the car,” he told the media ahead of Monday’s launch. “It’s very different in many ways.
“The majority of the parts have changed on it, but it is still really essentially a strong evolution of last year’s car. We have kind of built on the end of AMR23.
“The obvious things that you’ll see that are different, are things like the nose and front wing. Bodywork will be different.
“But there’s also quite a lot of stuff under the hood, which hopefully you won’t see! We will obviously try and keep some of that under wraps.”
While Aston’s engineers have stuck with a push-rod front suspension, the AMR24 now also relies on the same configuration at the rear as a result of drive train supplier Mercedes’ own switch to a push-rod layout.
“The front suspension layout, that’s a similar layout to what we had on the AMR23 – a system of push rod,” he said.
“We’ve inherited a new suspension from Mercedes, they obviously give us the gearbox and the structure of the rear suspension, so that has changed slightly from last year as well. So there’s a change on the rear, but the front is very similar.”
Fallows also revealed that his department had worked hard to improve the straightline speed of the AMR24, an urgency repeatedly requested last year by Fernando Alonso.
“Fernando, as with both of our drivers, is quite vocal about what he wants to see on the car, and how the car is performing,” Fallows explained.
“And actually, that's the kind of feedback we really, really relish. That's exactly what we want to know: how they feel the car can go faster. I think that's what the great drivers can really tell you, is where the car is going to go faster.
“Certainly, straightline speed and making sure the car is as efficient as possible has been a big focus over the winter. I think that is something that we've managed to achieve on this year's car to make a step on that.”
Taking cues from last year’s 2023 struggles, Fallows pinpoints development potential as a critical area, allowing Aston to evolve and challenge throughout the entire campaign thanks to a solid foundation.
“We’re very pleased with the step that we’ve made over the winter,” he said. “We think we have made a step on last year’s car, which is what we wanted.
“But, in truth, it is a short off-season and we were developing things that were relevant for this year quite late on into last season. So, the main aim for us is really to make sure that this car is a good platform to put those developments on during the season.
“We’ve seen – particularly last season but also the season before – the in-season development race is absolutely fierce and we want to be as competitive in that as we have been going into the new season.
“That’s what we’ve been really focused on, to make sure that we’ve got a good, stable basis for us to go and develop the car, to keep those updates coming and keep the performance coming.”
Fallows noted that the gap between Red Bull and their rivals was already beginning to narrow towards the end of last year’s campaign. The Briton expects this trend to continue , insisting the chase is on!
“People are getting very close and I think that suggests that people are probably less able to take a big conceptual step away from the kind of things that we’re seeing on the majority of cars,” he said.
“We are really into finding lap times from things that are smaller details, the more detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car.
“But there’s still a lot of lap time to come and we take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable. That’s what we’re chasing after. We’re focusing on them and that’s what we’re aiming for.”