Lawrence Stroll demands 'continued progress' from Aston in 2024

action, Silverstone Circuit, F12403a, F1, GP, Great Britain Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24 © Aston Martin
© Aston Martin

Lawrence Stroll, the chairman of Aston Martin, has made his expectation of 'continued progress' by the F1 team a clear objective for the squad in 2024.

Aston were one of the sensations of the early stage of last season, when impressive pace in pre-season testing was confirmed by the team successfully clinching six podiums in the first eight Grand Prix races of the year..

It was certainly a massive improvement on 2021, with the team able to learn from Red Bull's approach to ground effect aerodynamics and handling downwash to put them ahead of Ferrari and Mercedes in the early rounds.

However the rest of the season proved less successful, as unproductive upgrades caused them to lose ground to their rivals. They were eventually overtaken by McLaren for P4 in the final constructors standings during the final races.

Now Stroll wants his team to shrug off any lingering sense of disappointment about how the season ended, and to instead recapture last year's thrilling early success.

“We’d like to go up from fifth to fourth, third – whatever it may be,” Stroll told the media at this week's official car launch for the AMR24, adding that the target was "just to continue progression.”

He pointed out that Aston was still in the middle of upgrading its ageing technical facilities at its Silverstone base, ahead of a move away from customer Mercedes power units to becoming a full Honda engine partner in 2026.

“We’re a young team. We just moved into a new facility," he explained. "Our wind tunnel, which will be ready in September of this year. We’re the last team to be running without their own wind tunnel,” he pointed out.

“In 2026 we get Honda power units, so we’re on a journey to win," he added. "But every year, it’s about progression.”

That progression lies largely in the hands of the team's technical director Dan Fallows, who explained how the new car had been designed to avoid the same sort of mid-season slump suffered last year.

"Rather than thinking about individual races, from an engineering point of view we have to make a car that’s capable of operating at any circuit and being competitive," he said.

"That’s really what we’re focused on: making a car that’s usable, that’s good for the drivers, and that’s what we’ve really been trying to focus on.

“We’re really into finding lap time now from things that are smaller details, the more kind of detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car,” he told the media this week. "There’s still a lot of lap time to come.

Imagery of Dan Fallows from the 2024 pre-season photoshoot. © Aston Martin

© Aston Martin

"How we get close to Red Bull will come after that. If we put that performance on the car then we give ourselves the ability to compete at that level, which is exactly what we want.”

Having previously worked at Red Bull alongside Adrian Newey, Fallows knows the challenge Aston faces, but he fully believes it's one that's attainable.

"We take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable. That’s what we’re chasing after," he said. "We’re focusing on them, and that’s what we’re aiming for.

“We talk about Red Bull because obviously they are the benchmark in terms of performance," he added. "But really, for us, whoever has the fastest car, that's the focus for us and that’s what we’re looking at.

The new Aston Martin will be on track this week in Bahrain as part of the official three-day pre-season test, a week before the first race of the season at the same venue.

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will form the team's driver line-up for the second consecutive season.

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