Motor racing-Aston Martin will keep the upgrades coming

LONDON (Reuters) – Aston Martin will keep the upgrades flowing after going into Formula One’s August break with Fernando Alonso third in the championship behind Red Bull’s dominant leader Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

The team’s form has tailed off since the opening races when they soared to second overall, from seventh in 2022, but team principal Mike Krack said there would be no easing off on development when the season re-starts.

With both titles a foregone conclusion, champions Red Bull — winners of all 12 races so far — and some others are turning their attention to next year’s car but Aston Martin have other ideas.

“We are not switching off the tap. Full on,” Krack told reporters after Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix saw Alonso retain third place overall by a single point ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Krack said there would be something new at every race. Aston Martin enjoy more wind tunnel time than top rivals as a consequence of their low ranking last year.

In the constructors’ standings, they are third but only five points clear of last year’s runners-up Ferrari and 51 behind second-placed Mercedes.

After 12 of the 22 races last year, Aston Martin were languishing in ninth place and had scored only 19 points compared to their current haul of 196.

“We have set up a development plan and it was based on continuously developing the car and we follow that,” said Krack, who said it was important also to take stock of what had been achieved.

“Obviously you need to see what directions you take, depending on what happens… in all the push, push, push for development we also have to realise that we have made big steps and it is important to also zoom out and see what you have achieved.”

Double world champion Alonso, 42, joined Aston from Alpine at the end of last year in what now looks an inspired decision.

The Spaniard finished third in his first three races with the team and was on the podium in six of the first eight with two second places.

In the last four races he has been fifth, seventh, ninth and fifth again — still scoring in every race but with Ferrari and McLaren stepping up.

“I always said at the beginning of the year when we had podium, podium, podium that there will be more difficult times and they came much quicker than we wanted them to come but this is the reality of Formula One,” said Krack.

“As soon as other people are also developing hard you see a change in pecking order and just to stay where you are needs an incredible amount of work.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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