Aston Martin may not have Red Bull’s pace, but David Croft believes the AMR23 has less tire degradation, which could allow Fernando Alonso to mistake it for the traditional big three.
Aston Martin enter the new season as arguably the most talked about team, as not only did they show good pace in pre-season testing, but rivals also noted the consistent behavior of the AMR23.
Judging by what they’ve announced as a “bold and aggressive” design, the 2023 car is the brainchild of Dan Fallows and Eric Blandin, the two having previously worked with Red Bull and Mercedes respectively.
That influence has been noticed in the design of the AMR23, a car that Croft says could challenge the traditional big three.
“Dan Fallows, technical director, Eric Blandin the aero man is ex-Mercedes, Mike Krack the team principal, they came around January, February last year, this is their baby,” he said on the Sky Sports preview show.
“And it looks a beautiful car in the hands of Fernando Alonso, it really does.
“Their average running pace on the last day, the tire pressure was even better than Red Bull’s.
“I’m not sure if it’s the same pace, but I think they can do a lot strategically with that.
“Andrew Green, the old technical director has been pushed aside. This looks like a reborn new car for Aston Martin.”
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Alonso’s teammate in Bahrain remains unknown
Aston Martin enter the new season with a cloud of uncertainty, not about whether their car is any good, but who will drive it in Bahrain.
Lance Stroll missed pre-season testing after injuring his wrists in a cycling accident, opening the door for reserve driver Felipe Drugovich to potentially make his F1 debut.
The Brazilian spent a day in the car during pre-season testing with Aston Martin to confirm he will be in the car if Stroll is unable to race.
The team is expected to leave that decision until the last minute.
“Lance Stroll, they will give him every chance to get into that car, and they may not make a decision until Friday before entering or entering him for the Bahrain Grand Prix,” said Croft.
Aston Martin can only focus on themselves, they can’t ‘brake’ Red Bull
But while Aston Martin may be able to take another big step forward this season, Martin Brundle wonders if any of Red Bull’s nine rivals will be able to stop them.
They can, as he says, only focus on their own performance.
“As always, you have no control over the performance of another team or driver, so you just have to monitor and improve your own performance,” said the former F1 driver.
“Improve the aerodynamics, you always start with the aerodynamics where you can, especially with these latest cars.
“Of course for 2023 the sides and bottom of the car will change up, bigger mirrors and things like that, so it’s an evolution, not a revolution.
“And you know Max has talent to spare, a lot of confidence, the team are thrilled to be in garage one as the reigning Constructors’ champions, and I think they’re in a daze and I think all you can do is yourself because you don’t slow these guys down.