This is where Aston’s efforts ought to bear fruit – and they do, especially during road driving. Get the F1 Edition onto an interesting road and it handles like a sharper, more composed, better-controlled and more rewarding sports car than the standard Vantage but, pleasingly, still like a classic front-engined Aston.
The new dampers, more rigid frontal body structure and stiffer-sprung rear axle combine to bring even clearer feel through intuitively paced steering, but it’s the improvement to high-speed body control that existing Vantage owners will really notice. Even if you leave the suspension in its default Sport mode, the chassis adopts a fluent but clipped, neatly controlled ride gait over medium-wave bumps. And at fast road speeds, there is no sense here (as the regular Vantage could sometimes betray in its softer suspension modes) of mass starting to run unchecked; of the rear axle struggling to stay in tune with the front over really complex surfaces taken at speed; and of the smallest Aston suddenly feeling a little bit too big for its own good.
Sport+ damping mode is usable on a smooth road also, increasing the tautness of the body control without introducing much tetchiness. And regardless of the selected mode, chassis response is a shade crisper and handling more precise than in the regular Vantage. The car feels keener and more lithe through tighter bends, settles into longer corners more quickly and shrinks around you that bit more effectively.