Alonso would “love to have a little bit more downforce” and straight-line speed with the F1 AMR24

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team
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With the AMR24 improvement program, Fernando Alonso is certain that his Aston Martin Formula 1 team will avoid making the same mistakes as last year.

Starting 2023 on a podium streak, Alonso was regularly Red Bull’s closest rival, scoring six podiums in the first eight races and pushing Sergio Perez for P2 in the standings at that point.

Aston Martin, on the other hand, made some poor developmental decisions in the middle of the season, which caused them to fall in the standings until the team made a late-season comeback.

After fixing those issues with their new car, Alonso spoke ahead of pre-season testing and is confident that his team will not make the same mistakes again.

“I’m confident. If not, I could not maybe sleep for the last two months! But I think we did a lot of experiments and a lot of changes back and forth in terms of understanding the problems and the direction and the paths that we need to follow this year on the car.

“I think we understood a lot of things, and with this year’s car we intend to improve some of those weaknesses that we saw in terms of developing the car last year that we maybe got into the wrong direction a few times, and we understood a little bit too late.

“Hopefully we have that knowledge, those difficulties from last year were lessons that we took on board for the ’24 car, and we will see the result.

“I think we had a good step forward this winter, maybe not as big as last year, because last year the baseline was very poor. And this year, the baseline was very strong already last year’s, which is understandable.”

When comparing the new car to the AMR23, which had certain flaws despite its good form at the start of the season, Alonso was very explicit about where he thinks it will be better.

“I basically will love to have a little bit more downforce, especially on the high-speed corners, probably it was one weak area last year, that I think we tried to improve in this year’s car.

“Top speed was not the best last year; we were always fighting on the straights. And we were on the bottom of the charts always on the top speed. So we tried to be a little bit more efficient this year, a little bit faster on the straight.

“So there are a couple of points that I would love to see in the car when we hit Bahrain winter testing, which probably will help us on Sundays on the race weekends.”

Furthermore, Alonso stressed how tight he thinks the field would be, with little improvements potentially making a huge impact in contrast to rivals.

“I know that it’s going to be very tight. So, even if we make a reasonable and very good step forward, we know that the other teams, over the winter, do also a good step forward.

“And we saw in Abu Dhabi, I think within six-tenths it was pole position and P18. So when you improve a couple of tenths, this can change your life. And this can change fighting for the podium or being in Q2, out of the top 10 in the first races.

“And it’s just one small update that maybe you bring to the next race, and from Q2 you jump to a podium. So I think it’s going to be a very interesting season, and a very demanding season off-track, trying to bring upgrades to make a difference.”