The Silverstone-based squad has been in the chasing pack behind Red Bull this season, but its prospects of putting up a better fight against Ferrari and McLaren have been hurt by its car not being as competitive in races as it is in qualifying thanks to tyre management struggles.

It is an area that the team has been focusing hard on in the early stage of the campaign, with driver Fernando Alonso praising an “aggressive” development programme that has been unleashed to help improve matters.

For the Japanese Grand Prix, the squad’s AMR24 features changes in two key areas – a sidepod revision that appears to be heavily influenced by Red Bull, plus changes in the floor area.

Asked about if the changes were aimed at pure performance or to help improve its tyre degradation issues, Alonso said: “They are both linked. More downforce will address also the tyre degradation we have.

“So far we have been very aggressive on the development of the car. [There was] a new part in Jeddah on the front suspension, a tweak on the front wing in Australia and now another package.

“Every race we’ve been driving a different car, which is a good sign of what we want to achieve this year – being very aggressive off track.

“Last year, we learned a lesson, starting very good and then not changing the car enough was painful in the second part of the season.

“This year, hopefully we are a little bit stronger on the second half compared to the first half. But let’s see.”

What has changed

Aston Martin AMR24 sidepod and floor comparison

Aston Martin AMR24 sidepod and floor comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

Images from the Suzuka pitlane show the new sidepod has a swage line etched into the upper forward corner of the bodywork (red arrows).

This is similar to a feature seen on the Red Bull RB18 and RB19 which found its way onto other cars as those teams transitioned to a downwash ramp-style bodywork.

The contouring helps to alter the passage of the airflow in this region, providing better engagement between the sidepod’s flank and upper surface, with the length, transition and shape of the gulley also altered as part of this update.

Several changes have also been made to the floor’s edge wing, whilst the rear floor deck has also been modified. The team has followed a similar path to its rivals, with the rear floor cut-out deleted and a smooth edge transition used to form the rear deck section (see inset for comparison).

Aston Martin AMR24 front wing detail

Aston Martin AMR24 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The edge wing is now much more twisted behind the straked section (blue arrow), as changes also appear to have been made to the floor geometry alongside, both on the upper surface and perhaps more crucially to the underfloor.

The rear section of the edge wing, which had previously snaked its way under the rear floor cutout, is now folded over into a tip that tapers and follows the same contours as the floor’s edge.

The changes made to the AMR24 in Japan follow on from the introduction of a new front wing at the Australian Grand Prix, with the span-wise twist distribution of the upper two flaps altered.

This change in flap profile also led to the team removing one of the metal support brackets in the centre of the lower of those two flaps.