Aston Martin suspects upgrades have made car ‘difficult to drive’

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The Aston Martin team's quest for improvement at Imola might have yielded a bittersweet outcome, with team boss Mike Krack suggesting that the AMR24’s latest updates have made the car ”more difficult to drive”.

In a bid to not only keep up but also to catch its front-running rivals, Aston Martin implemented a series of revisions that included an upgraded front wing, nose, floor body, floor fences, floor edge, diffuser, engine cover, rear suspension and rear corner.

For comparative purposes, Fernando Alonso’s car was equipped with the upgrades in FP1, while Lance Stroll took delivery of the full package for FP2.

The initial hope was that the changes would help propel Aston closer to the leading pack of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

However, the competitive landscape remained largely unchanged. While data suggested that the Silverstone-based outfit had taken a step forward, so had its rivals, and especially McLaren, leaving Aston’s relative performance level unchanged.

The team’s weekend was further hampered by Alonso’s crash in FP3 and by another off-track excursion suffered by the Spaniard in Q1 that left him dead last in qualifying.

Ahead of Sunday’s race, Aston opted to pull Alonso’s car out of parc fermé to tweak its set-up, which led to a pit lane start and to a full-scale test session for the F1 veteran.

Stroll, meanwhile, starting from 13th, managed to salvage two points thanks to a P9 finish.

Ater the race, Krack suggested that Alonso's uncharacteristic incidents might have been a consequence of the new-spec car's more delicate balance.


"In Imola, when you start from where we started, it's difficult," Krack said after the race. "We come away with two points, I think it was quite a good outcome, it shows that the car is still capable of doing things.

"But we have also seen that it is difficult to drive. We had a couple of offs over the weekend. The one from yesterday was actually impacting us the most, because we were really on the back foot from that point onwards.

"We wanted to learn more, that's why we elected to start from the pitlane and make a change on the car to see if we can make it easier. We wanted to do better from what we have done. But it was also compromised a little bit by the events of yesterday."

After qualifying, Stroll’s assessment of his car’s new package – described as “aggressive” by Aston tech boss Dan Fallows – left the Canadian with the impression that his team is losing ground on its rivals and needs more improvements.

Krack offered a more measured view, saying that upcoming races in Monaco and Montreal might offer a different story, although he conceded the pressing need for the team to add more performance to its AMR24.

"We're not happy with two points, that is clear," he added. "But other people are also bringing upgrades, so it is always a relative game.

"it's tough, we must not underestimate that. I think, except one team, everybody has a list full of upgrades, so it shows how competitive the whole field is."

"We have to really keep pushing and bringing more stuff."

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