Formula 1: Why a once promising team now has the weakest outlook

As all Formula 1 teams constantly think about their futures, Aston Martin’s current trajectory stands out when compared to the others.
Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Formula 1
Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Formula 1 / Kym Illman/GettyImages

In recent seasons, Aston Martin have placed a heavy focus on swaying some of the best management staff, engineers, etc., to improve the performance of their Formula 1 car.

While they have found some level of success in that endeavor, their overall driving team is rather lackluster when it comes to their future outlook. That includes both of their full-time Formula 1 drivers and also their reserve and academy drivers.

The first concern for Aston Martin is that, despite the fact that they have made all those managerial signings, they only showed a small glimpse of improvement toward the start of the 2023 season. Since then, they have gone backwards in terms of overall car performance, dropping from second to fifth in the constructor standings.

Another concern for the team is the driver signings they have made over the past few seasons. Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are among some of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula 1, but Aston Martin got them at the end of their careers.

Once Vettel retired, Alonso filled the void. He has still managed to put in good performances, but odds are he will exit the sport once his contract expires in 2026.

On the other hand, Lance Stroll’s place in the team has been firm ever since his father Lawrence took over. Despite being in Formula 1 for nearly a decade now, Stroll has been mediocre at best and is truly holding the team back from producing the results they want. It essentially goes against their drive and vision to be one of the best teams on the grid.

However, there are some rumors suggesting that Stroll could exit Formula 1 entirely in the near future.

What about Aston Martin's future?

Neither Alonso nor Stroll will likely be with Aston Martin for the long haul. But the team have not made any big driver signings in the recent past, and it is still unclear whether drivers would actually have the desire to compete for Aston Martin in the future.

Their younger drivers are still waiting for a chance, but the team also do not have the strongest academy program. In fact, it may be arguably the weakest on the grid.

Jak Crawford is the only driver in their program who is in an FIA feeder series, and he currently sits in fourth place in the Formula 2 standings. Former Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich remains their test and reserve driver, but he is currently competing in the European Le Mans Series. Aside from them, Aston Martin have no other promising talents they could promote in the near future.

In the span of one season, Aston Martin fell from being a top four team to now being average, if not slightly below average, and at the moment, it appears that they will continue to trend further downwards.

Their only major hope is to sway Yuki Tsunoda to join the team in 2026 once their partnership with Honda begins, but other than that, there is a genuine risk that they will fall further down to P7 or P8 in future constructor championships.

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The nine other teams all have relatively secure futures, are trending upwards, or both, which is something that cannot be said for Aston Martin. They must take action if they do not want to fall too far behind.