The reason behind Lance Stroll receiving Aston Martin’s major upgrades for the Japanese Grand Prix before Fernando Alonso

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Lance Stroll ( Credits: AP News)

Following a quiet start to the F1 2024 season, Aston Martin has brought a significant upgrade to Suzuka, featuring noticeable changes to the sidepods, floor, and engine cover.

Lance Stroll received Aston Martin’s first major upgrade for F1 2024, not Fernando Alonso.
Although this update is expected to impact Aston Martin’s performance, only Stroll tested the new parts during Friday’s practice at Suzuka, while Alonso used the previous-spec AMR24.

This decision was made despite Alonso leading Stroll by seven points in the Drivers’ standings and having a better record in the 2023 season with eight podium finishes, compared to Stroll’s challenging season.

However, a report from German publication Auto Motor und Sport revealed that Stroll’s crash in Jeddah last month, where he retired after hitting a barrier, led to him being prioritized over Alonso. With Stroll’s chassis needing repairs, Aston Martin reportedly integrated the new parts during the repair process instead of bringing a separate upgrade to Japan.

Despite Stroll using the upgraded parts, he finished 15th in the opening practice session at Suzuka, nearly 1.5 seconds behind Alonso in seventh place.

Fernando Alonso (Credits: PlanetF1)

Alonso’s car received the upgrades at the circuit on Friday evening, leaving Aston Martin with a decision to make: whether to fit the new parts overnight or wait until the next race in China to debut the updated AMR24.

After starting strong in the 2023 season but fading later on, there is immense pressure on Aston Martin to show strong in-season development in 2024.

Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s team principal, mentioned that the team planned to run both the new and old-spec AMR24 in practice at Suzuka for a direct comparison, aiming to address weaknesses from last season.

Krack also dismissed rumors about Aston Martin making a significant offer to sign Red Bull design expert Adrian Newey amidst ongoing uncertainty surrounding the reigning Constructors’ Champions.

When asked about the alleged approach for Newey, Krack denied it, stating that the team is satisfied with its current technical team, which includes Dan, Tom McCullough, Luca Furbatto, and recently joined Bob Bell.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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