Cheese grater sidepods and better straight line speed: the AMR24 is just the beginning for Aston Martin’s 2024 F1 season | CAR Magazine

Cheese grater sidepods and better straight line speed: the AMR24 is just the beginning for Aston Martin’s 2024 F1 season

Published: 13 February 2024 Updated: 13 February 2024

► New Aston Martin F1 car revealed
► Led by Dan Fallows, it’s a ‘step’ over the 2023 car
► Focus on constant development throughout the season

Aston Martin has just revealed its new 2024 F1 car, and it looks and sounds like it’s going to be a significant step up over the often-promising 2023 car. Designed, once again, under the technical leadership of ex-Red Bull man Dan Fallows, the new AMR24 promised to be a level above the car that shocked the paddock in the early part of 2023. 

What’s new? 

Aston Martin came out of the blocks incredibly strongly last year; leapfrogging both Mercedes and Ferrari in the early races – and this car looks even more extreme. Just look at those sidepods!

Aston Martin AMR24 - side top down view

‘We’ve made changes all over the car, it’s a very different car in many ways,’ said Fallows. ‘We’re very pleased with the step that we’ve made over the winter, we think we have made a step on last year’s car.’ 

‘The obvious things you will see that are different, are things like the front nose and front wing – and the bodywork will be different,’ Fallows explained. ‘But there’s also obviously quite a lot of stuff under the hood… We will obviously try and keep some of that under wraps.’

Cheesegrater sidepods

That’s what I’m calling them, anyway. The most eye-catching changes on the AMR24 are the new sidepod inlets, which look to be even more extreme evolution of the ones we saw on the Red Bull in the second half of last year. Rather than ‘gulping’ air and feeding it to the engine and other systems, these new inlets seem to slice air off as it moves along the top of the car – much like a cheese grater. The most obvious effect is an even sleeker car, and you’d imagine there’s now less drag in that area. 

‘We’ve inherited new suspension from Mercedes, they give us the gearbox and the structure of the rear suspension.’ Fallows continues. ‘So that has changed slightly from last year as well.’

What’s been fixed? 

While the AMR23 proved strong at the beginning of the season, it had some key weaknesses, and it’s these that the MAR24 targets front and centre: ‘Straight line speed and making sure the car as efficient as possible has been a big focus over the winter,’ said Fallows. ‘And I think that is something that we’ve we’ve managed to achieve on this year’s car and make a step on that.’ 

Straight line speed is something both Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso complained about last year, so both drivers (returning for 2024 at least) will be happy with that aspect of the new car for a start.

Aston Martin AMR24- side pods

Constant development

The biggest problem for the AMR23 however, was the quality and quantity of in-season development Aston’s technical team were able to bring to it. Simply put, Aston Martin wasn’t able to add performance to it at the same rate as the rest of the grid – and some of the new parts seemed to go in the wrong direction. It’s this in-season development issue that Aston is most interesting in fixing with the AMR24: 

‘This is the first step in this season. We want to make sure we’ve got a good platform for development. And that’s what we’ve been really focusing on,’ said Fallows. ‘I think we’ve managed to achieve that.’

Aston Martin AMR24- dead front

Anything else? 

Of course, it’s not just the car. One of the reason Red Bull was so dominant last year wasn’t just because of Adrian Newey’s design – but the trackside operations, and even the processes back at base. Now, with a new facility and a car that looks to be competitive, it’s even more important to get right: 

‘We have really tried to look at every area, be it a car be its operations, speed or reliability, to make a step forward in all directions,’ said team principal Mike Krack. ‘We hope we have done enough, and we are sure that we will have a strong contender.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes