Aston Martin in 2024 | Is the RB19 on the drawing board in Silverstone? ‘The chance is very high’

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Aston Martin in 2024 |  Is the RB19 on the drawing board in Silverstone?  'The chance is very high'

Aston Martin got off to a rocket start in 2023 with podiums for Fernando Alonso in six of the eight races in the opening phase. After that strong start, things went less well for the British racing team, and the battle for victory turned into a battle to stay in the points. At the end the Silverstone team bounced back. What awaits Aston Martin in 2024? We discuss it with editors Lieke Jacobs and Stephan Koolschijn.

Aston Martin and two-time world champion Alonso had the start of their dreams in 2023. Right from the testing days, the AMR23 looked competitive, and Bahrain proved that the British racing team was indeed in good shape. After a number of races, things were going well according to Aston Martin: podiums were achieved, they were the second team on the grid, and they could focus on closing the gap to Red Bull Racing and a possible victory. However, after the Canadian Grand Prix, the team found itself in a performance slump, and as the season progressed, that strong start was all that was left. Can Aston Martin open the season like this again this year and maintain that upward trend again? “It seems likely to me that they will repeat that tour de force from early 2023, so I think they can at least forget about a serious connection with Red Bull in the first weeks,” Jacobs expects.

“I think in the end they were just lucky last season, partly because other competitors like Mercedes and Ferrari just started the season worse, but now that the new season is coming and everyone gets new opportunities, I don’t think they can do it a second time fag.’ The 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix will show how the teams are doing, but no team will fully lay its cards on the table. Aston Martin would also have to keep the accelerator pressed at the factory during the season to close the gap to Red Bull. ‘I think there will certainly be some opportunities for Aston Martin to make it difficult for the competition, especially with Fernando Alonso behind the wheel, but I think the competition has taken too big a step to make it really exciting in the World Cup. to keep,’ Jacobs continues. “For example, McLaren’s impressive catch-up quickly caused Aston Martin to lose track in 2023, so I secretly think that will be no different in 2024.”

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Aston Martin in 2024 |  'I think Alpine will move up one spot at the expense of Aston Martin'
In any case, the editors do not expect that Aston Martin can do better than P5 in 2024. (Source: F1Maximaal.nl)

Koolschijn even expects that Aston Martin will lose its connection to the top five, and that Alpine will overtake the British racing stable in 2024. ‘Alpine had ambitious plans at the beginning of 2023, but it quickly became clear that the target would not be achieved ‘, says Koolschijn. ‘The French racing team intervened by sending several leaders off. Whether this has the desired effect in the long term remains to be seen. But the fact is that Alpine managed to significantly reduce the gap (on the circuit) to Aston Martin in the second half of the season. In the development battle, Alpine has impressed me more and since there are no significant changes to the regulations, I think Alpine will move up one spot at the expense of Aston Martin.’

Differences between Alonso and Stroll will only increase

What also contributed to Aston Martin’s poor performance after the opening phase were the major differences between Alonso and teammate Lance Stroll. While Alonso still managed to score points with a lesser car, Stroll lagged behind. The editors therefore do not expect this to change in 2024. “The differences will not become smaller in any case, because Alonso has shown in 2023 that he is a special driver and, in my opinion, Stroll will not come close to that,” Jacobs continues. ‘I was pleasantly surprised when Stroll’s results improved somewhat during the last race weekends of 2023, so I don’t think the differences will become much greater in the coming season, but he simply cannot match the drive that Alonso has. .’

Koolschijn agrees with this. “It can hardly get any bigger,” he says. ‘The difference between them was very large in 2023, although it must be said that Stroll took a big step forward in the last races of the season. He could give Alonso a good match and at times he was even faster. If Stroll can continue that trend to 2024, the Canadian could significantly reduce the difference to his teammate. And that has to be the case, because the gap was far too big last season.’ And while Stroll was still impressive at the start of the season. The Canadian had two broken wrists and finished sixth in Bahrain. Later in the season there was not much left of those great performances. Stroll finished tenth in the championship with 74 points, Alonso fourth with 206 points.

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Aston Martin in 2024 |  'I think Alpine will move up one spot at the expense of Aston Martin'
Nobody expects Stroll to do better than Alonso this year. (Source: F1Maximaal.nl)

Will Alonso finally achieve victory number 33 this year?

After Alonso proved himself again in 2023, fans have been waiting for his 33rd victory for a long time. There were a number of occasions during the 2023 season, but Red Bull was still better every time. Will that victory finally happen this year? “No, I think the counter will remain at 32 for Alonso,” says Koolschijn. ‘I don’t think Aston Martin has the people in-house to beat Red Bull Racing on a technical and strategic level. Then Alonso as a driver should be able to make the difference, but the Spaniard is unlucky that Red Bull has a certain Max Verstappen under contract. But it is and remains Formula 1 and every now and then there is a crazy race with an unexpected result. In my opinion, Alonso will have to hope for that.’

In Koolschijn’s opinion, Aston Martin will therefore not be able to offer Alonso the car he needs to win or compete against the Austrian racing team in 2024. However, the team from Silverstone was able to watch the dominant RB19 for an entire season. Could the RB19 be on the drawing board at Aston Martin this winter break? “If you ask me, that chance is very high,” Jacobs takes over again. “Because I personally thought it was quite typical that Aston Martin was the only team that could regularly stay close to Red Bull, while in 2022 things often still happened in fits and starts,” she says. ‘Nevertheless, I think that, if it were indeed the case that the car was an RB19 copy, they would immediately demonstrate that copying indeed makes little sense in the long term. I would be willing to bet that the increasingly downhill performance had something to do with that.’

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