Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows insists that his team is very happy with the components supplied by Mercedes, and doesn’t feel that the arrangement is holding them back in this year’s championship.
It’s long been received Formula 1 wisdom that only full manufacturer and works team making all their own parts have a realistic shot of clinching the championship.
But this year Aston Martin are bucking that trend, currently in second place in the standings behind a dominant Red Bull but crucially ahead of both Mercedes and Ferrari.
Aston Martin have a deal to receive customer engines, gearboxes and rear suspension parts from Mercedes, and additionally use the wind tunnel facilities at Brackley while their own are finishing construction at Silverstone.
“We’re very happy with what we get [from Mercedes],” Fallows told the media earlier this month. “I don’t think anything that we get from Mercedes is limiting our performance.
“We obviously have gearbox and rear suspension, and the power units as well,” he confirmed. “But so far I find absolutely no reason to wish we had everything else apart from what we get from them.
“We as engineers obviously work around the constraints that we have,” he pointed out. “Does any of that stop us achieving the goals that we want to achieve? No, absolutely not, so I think we’re very happy with the relationship.
“From my point of view, that aspect of the power units and gearboxes is something which we’re very pleased with,” he said. “In many ways, it’s quite gratifying that I don’t have to worry about it.”
Fallows joined the team in April 2022 after 16 years at Red Bull, and his arrival has coincided with a dramatic improvement in Aston Martin’s pace and performance.
“I’ve been at the team for just over a year, we’ve come a great distance, and we’re very focused on what we’re trying to do this year,” he said. “We’re very much focused on the short-term, and then on what we can achieve in 2024.
“We think we’ve made a very big step this year. But we still have a little way to go, and I think honestly I wouldn’t point to sort of one single area of it. I think we just need to improve everything, really.
“We do we need to sort of consider where we are relative to the Red Bull,” he added. “The Red Bull as a concept has been evolved for a bit longer than ours.
“We obviously very publicly went to a different concept early last year and we’re still developing that,” he explained. “It’s not necessarily that I think our car has particular strengths in some areas.
“I think we have managed to generate a car which is reasonably capable in a lot of different areas. We can tune it to what we believe is the optimum for that particular track.
“[But] we have to optimise our car for every particular circuit, which means that sometimes there may be aspects of whether it’s low-speed, high-speed corners, which aren’t quite as strong as some other competitors.
“I think there are areas we believe where we’re relatively strong,” he stressed. “It’s just that we want to kind of build on the speed that we have and keep going with the same philosophy.”
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