Analysis: Williams and Aston Martin debuted significant upgrade package in Montreal

By on

The Canadian Grand Prix saw Williams and Aston Martin debut major upgrade packages. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó looks back at last weekend’s Montreal race and reports on the latest development push in the 2023 F1 season.

Although only two weeks passed since the Spanish Grand Prix that saw several F1 teams debut a raft of upgrades, the relentless development work continued at the Canadian Grand Prix. Since teams have to issue a document over the new parts they bring to races, it is much simpler to recognize team’s development curve and strategy over the season.

Interestingly, Ferrari were the only team not to bring any new parts to Montreal after they had debuted a heavily revised car in Barcelona that sported a completely redesigned sidepod and engine cover concept. By contrast, Williams and Aston Martin brought a heavily revised car with both teams having made significant changes to the most critical area of current cars, the floor and the sidepods.


The Grove-based outfit introduced a heavily revised car in Montreal, but only Alex Albon had the chance of competing with the upgraded Williams as the team had new parts for only one car.

The biggest change centred around the floor area and engine cover. The floor geometry sported a new forward fence which should increase the local load at the forward floor as well as improve the downstream flow into the diffuser.

The most visible change was the tweak to the engine cover. The revised sidepod geometry features a more pronounced ramp and reprofiled engine cover exit which should lead to an increase in load. Furthermore, the engineers have also taken the opportunity to fine tune the cooling of the car.

Williams have updated the mirror and mirror stay assembly which should assist the changes to the revised bodywork. The HALO-fairing has also been revised which is thought to suit the flow field of the new bodywork and help tune the onset flow to the rear of the car.

The rear suspension and the rear brake ducts have also gone through key changes. The new geometry for the rear brake duct winglets should assist the changes to the diffuser geometry while they also generate a small local loading improvement. The new external geometry to the rear suspension links should offer an improved local flow field at the rear corner of the car

Aston Martin

Aston Martin brought a smaller number of upgrades to Montreal, but they were very much visible as the AMR23 featured a heavily updated sidepod arrangement.

The new bodywork retains the same basic layout but with an enhanced undercut in the front-lower edges of the sidepods. According to the team, the new shape of bodywork is a small evolution of the current philosophy improving the interaction with the rest of the car. The waterslide section has been arrowed and deepened.

The louvres panels have also been revised to suit the new bodywork shape.

Furthermore, the Dan Fallows-led engineer team has also revised the leading edge of the floor. The team hopes that the local load on the floor will be improved by redistributing the flow between the floor fences to achieve better performance through the operating envelope.

Red Bull have implemented subtle re-profiling to the front wing with the changes expected to extract more load locally.

Following their thorough changes to their W14 at the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes have fine-tuned the sidepod inlets for the Canadian Grand Prix. The outer tip winglets have been removed from the sidepod wing which should result in cleaner local flow, improving flow to the rear of the car, whilst also reducing drag.

Alpine has revised the geometry of their rear wing. The tweaks include a thicker pylon and large end plate cutout which should give a more efficient wing which replaces the equivalent drag level.

The updated rear suspension sports a revised lower leg fairing geometry with the changes expected to increase local load on the lower suspension elements at the rear of the car.
McLaren are set to bring major upgrades to the July races, but they introduced a few tweaks to their car in Montreal as well. The new rear wing assembly features a new flap and endplate with the team expecting to achieve an efficient load gain.

Furthermore, the new beam wing assembly has been developed to suit the new upper rear wing assembly, resulting in an overall efficient load gain.

Alfa Romeo redesigned the cooling outlet for the rear brake ducts with the track-specific changes developed to answer the high demands of the Montreal circuit on the braking system.

Haas also had a track-specific modification. The Amercian outfit debuted a new geometry for mainplane and flap of the rear aerodynamic to meet the peculiar characteristic of the Montreal circuit. Furthermore, the Ferrari-powered outfit-introduced a specific cooling configuration due to the ambient conditions in Montreal.

As a performance update, Haas brought a further evolution of the floor edge shape which has been revealed as one of the most significant for the correct working of the entire floor since the introduction of the new generation of F1 cars at the start of last season. The region of the floor edge has proven that even small shape modification ends up with significant benefit in improving the aerodynamic efficiency of the entire car.

AlphaTauri debuted a new flap of the front wing which sports reduced chord and camber wing sections. The revised front flap generates less front wing load to give the desired car balance range for this choice of rear wing.