After a disappointing start to launch season for fans, as teams mostly elected to steer clear of showing off their proper cars, it was not until this week that some real machinery was put on display.
Aston Martin was among the first to pull the covers off a genuine 2023 challenger, with an unveiling of its AMR23 in front of guests, fans and media at its new Silverstone factory.
In the wake of criticism that some teams like Red Bull had faced for not showing off a proper new car, Aston Martin’s move was hailed by its new driver Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard said: “I think the fans will appreciate that we launched the real car.
“It is sometimes disappointing to see a show car with different stickers. So yeah, this team is just more fair on everything.”
Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows said that, while there was a desire not to let the launch distract from its competitive focus, there was equally a push to ensure it did not deceive fans.
“We obviously have a very aggressive development programme,” he said. “Although we’re restricted by the cost cap, we do want to be continually putting parts on the car as quickly as we possibly can.
“But I think we were very keen that the car that we launched is the car that will shake down, and it will be with some very minor adjustments perhaps in Bahrain.
“That’s the key thing for us. I think it’s important to show to our fans that we do want them to see the real car. I think it’s very difficult from a personal point of view, standing around looking at last year’s car, to say well this is obviously different… the sticker’s different! That was a big thing for us.
“We’re very fortunate to have built up a very strong fan base over the last couple of years, and I think it was very important to us that we gave them something, as well as media and our families.”