The unknown of Aston Martin on the straights of Jeddah

It has been repeated many times that the Aston Martin in Jeddah may not be as competitive as it was in Bahrain, but you have to explain why. Beyond the internal numbers, all the teams manage GPS records of the rest of their rivals and it is relatively easy to know their behavior in each of the micro-sectors of a circuit. In Sakhir’s case, that means lower divisions even than the curveballs themselves. If the laps of Verstappen, Leclerc, Alonso and Russell in Q3 of the Bahrain GP are compared on the same track, important differences between Red Bull, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes, respectively, can be seen. In the total lap, they are all very close, separated by just over half a second. But curve by curve, there are winners and losers.

Starting at the beginning, the main straights in Bahrain were dominated by Ferrari. The power unit is pointed out, rightly so, but it is also a fact that for the SF-23 a low-load wing was chosen in the first race of the season that penalized them when managing the tires, but gave them air efficiency advantage. At top speed they were the best and there is no reason to think that this will no longer be the case in Saudi Arabia.

The Aston Martin marked differences in traction (exit from turns ten and eleven and entry to the finish line) and shone in a slow curve (one). These are less important virtues on Jeddah Corniche, because the asphalt is not as aggressive as that of Sakhir and there are hardly any strong braking events that later require strong acceleration. Interestingly, in a direct Aston Martin-Mercedes comparison, the W14 wins on every straight but loses out of every corner. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Hamilton and Russell’s car was more competitive at Jeddah, at least for one lap.

Comparison F1 Bahrain 2023.


Comparison F1 Bahrain 2023.

As for the Red Bull, without being the best at anything, is the most complete at everything. It is strong in slow curve (four eight), in traction, in fast corner (twelve) and he was faster than Ferrari in the last straights of the track. That can mean that the battery reaches fuller at the end of the lap and the maximum power of the Honda engine is sustained for longer. Bahrain was important, but the virtues on the straight and fast corner can be worth many points in Arabia and Australia, the next two circuits that the World Cup visits.

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