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Full speed up to F1

Among the more than 700 people who work at Silverstone in the construction of Aston Martin singl


Among the more than 700 people who work at Silverstone in the construction of Aston Martin single-seaters is a man from Vigo. At 26 years old, Alberto Freire is part of the team of engineers looking for the best configuration so that this team’s car is the fastest on the Formula 1 circuits.

A little less than two decades ago, thousands of children grew up glued to the television, watching Fernando Alonso win races every weekend. Alberto was one of those children. His father was always very fond of cars and he infected her with that enthusiasm. Every Sunday they got up together, “even if the race was at four in the morning,” says Alberto. Many fantasized about being able to get close to the single-seaters. Whether as pilots, mechanics or engineers. The latter was the chosen option.

From a very young age it was clear to him. His arrival in the world would depend on his steps. Thus, Freire considered his training thinking about the ultimate goal: to build Formula 1 cars. His insistence fulfilled the goal with almost the same as the single-seaters. “The most important thing is to be stubborn,” he explains.

When he finished his high school studies, Alberto moved to Madrid to study engineering. In Vigo he could access the same training. However, in the capital he could meet people who were already in the automotive universe par excellence.

It was in college that he had his first contact with high speed. Through ‘Formula Student’ he was part of two very different teams. This program organizes car championships at the university level, where students prepare their own vehicles. During his exchange in Illinois (United States) he was part of a team that had just started, but had all the necessary means. “It was a very rewarding experience and he confirmed to me that this was what he wanted,” admits Alberto. Already in Madrid he joined the university team, finding a totally different panorama. “Here we had to find a life to build the car,” he says. However, Alberto assures that it was then that he learned the most.

The last step before reaching the English team was already in British territory. After completing his internship, he decided to do a master’s degree at Oxford Brooks. This was the most important step. “Except Ferrari, all the teams are there,” he notes. Thus, with the postgraduate completed, he applied for a vacant place in the Aston Martín team and all his sacrifice was rewarded.

It’s been 10 months since Alberto saw the checkered flag. His function within the team is to recreate the single-seaters in the computer, in order to find the best configuration. He does it through the famous simulator in which pilots now spend so many hours. He has also been lucky enough to try it and admits with a laugh that “it is difficult to handle it”. His goal now is to give his best to achieve important goals with the British team.

The AMR22 premiered this year the new technical regulations of the competition.

The difficulty of the new aerodynamics

This year, the Formula 1 single-seaters released a new technical regulation. Although Alberto Freire arrived at the Aston Martin factory ten months ago, he was able to work on the last steps to define the car with which Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll race this year, the AMR22.

Building a new vehicle is never easy, especially with new aerodynamics. Thus, all the teams ran into a common problem when they put their single-seaters on the track for the first time during the Barcelona tests. The ‘porpoising’ – strong rebound that single-seaters experience when traveling at high speeds – gave many headaches at the beginning of the season. “It’s something that we couldn’t know in computer simulations,” says Alberto. However, they have managed to reduce it and for next year they will try to make it almost non-existent.

However, this new regulation also has its good things. Alberto acknowledges that it makes the competition more even. “At least in the middle of the ranking,” he says. Looking ahead to next year, already with the experience of this course, they will try to improve their car, which they are already working on after the first half of the World Championship. “Expectations for next year are good. We hope to improve performance”, concludes the engineer from Vigo.