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These upgrades could make or break Aston Martin’s season

Aston Martin has experienced mixed results in 2024, but this weekend’s Imola GP should provide more clarity on their capabilities.

In the fourth round of the year in Japan, Aston Martin introduced their first set of upgrades. At face value, they seemed to yield reasonable results. Fernando Alonso was contending with Ferrari and McLaren in qualifying, whilst the AMR24 showed improved tyre conservation during the Grand Prix. Unfortunately for the Silverstone-based team, the evidence since then has been far less optimistic.

Generally speaking, the car overseen by Dan Fallows has the opposite characteristics of its predecessor. On Saturdays, the car performs at a high level, contending for the top 6 – although rarely for Pole Position.

At least, this was the face for the opening rounds. What might change this for Aston Martin is the introduction of upgrades from McLaren and Ferrari. The Woking-based team’s updates were devastatingly effective in Miami, generating significant performance for the MCL38. Within a few days, Andrea Stella’s team made a statement of intent with their new platform.

Ferrari, meanwhile, secured a 1-2 finish earlier in the year in Australia. They also fought for victory in Florida, doing so without the upgrades that will feature on the SF-24 this weekend. Should they take even a reasonable step forward, the Italian team could become regular contenders for race victories.

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Upgrades for Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll will receive updates this weekend. Aston Martin will introduce the second part of the package initially introduced in Japan.

Speaking bluntly, the enthusiasm and expectations surrounding the AMR24’s modifications are not especially high. The British squad’s development since the start of 2023 has been significantly worse than that of its immediate rivals — and even teams further down the field.

Of course, Miami’s track surface means it is not necessarily the most representative circuit. Several factors contributed to Aston Martin only bringing home two points in Miami.

Nevertheless, for a team whose relative performance has declined, these mitigating factors will not be seen as a justification for their regression. Aston’s wind-tunnel correlation has not been the most reliable, so the impact of these upgrades is difficult to quantify.

A reasonable step forward seems an appropriate expectation – especially given the inconsistencies between qualifying and race day.

Regardless of the pre-race expectations, this weekend is crucial for Aston Martin. It will be a clear indication of where they stand in 2024. They are currently somewhere between the front-runners and the lower midfield teams.

With RB and Alpine taking strides forward, Mike Krack’s team must begin their own ascendency – else they risk being relegated down the field.

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