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Aston Martin Believe F1 Convergence Could Create “Fantastic” 2024

2023 was dominated by Red Bull, but Aston Martin performance director, Tom McCullough, believes that convergence is inevitable but that will also lead to closer races in 2024....

2023 was dominated by Red Bull, but Aston Martin performance director, Tom McCullough, believes that convergence is inevitable but that will also lead to closer races in 2024. This is all assuming that the teams have learnt their lessons in 2023.

McCullough pointed to qualifying in Abu Dhabi, the final race of 2023, where eight teams were represented in the top 10, something that points to positive trend in 2024.

“If you look at the fact that there were eight teams in the top 10 and how close qualifying was, that’s phenomenal, isn’t it really?” he said.

“And it just shows you that with stable regulations there’s always an element of convergence.

“Some teams have developed really well this year, but I think they’d be the first to admit they started badly as well. So I think next year, it’s going to be fantastic for the sport.

“I think trackside execution is going to be important, and I don’t think the margins are going to be enormous.

“But everyone’s trying to get that extra 10-15-20 points [of downforce] more than everybody else because that just gives you the advantage on track.”

He acknowledged that this very phenomenon is what will spell trouble for Aston Martin, as they won’t be able to make the same kind of progress over this winter as they did last year when they went from seventh in the championship to regular podium contenders.

“Obviously, I think it’s helped when you weren’t as strong last season to make such a big jump,” McCullough continued. “And if we were to make the same jump now, we’ll be well ahead of Red Bull, which is not going to happen!

“During last year, we were developing the car, and by the end of the year, we were actually a lot closer to the fourth fastest team. So yes, we were closer to the front. But the jump wasn’t as big if you look at the end of 2022, really.”

For the 2024 season, Aston Martin’s goal is to have a car that is competitive at different venues without requiring major specification changes.

“We’re trying to put a car together that you can take to all the tracks and just change the rear wing level, front wing level, and bang, be strong,” he explained.

“At the moment, we’re having to sort of change components a bit, whether the bias is towards low-speed, high-speed, efficiency etc. So that’s why we’ve been changing some components from event to event.

“The aim next year is to have a car that you don’t need to do that as much, and the base level is just higher.

“I think the learning from the tests we’ve done with components, and also the physical track testing of certain parts, has given us really good knowledge to help develop the car.”

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