‘Aston Martin are at least fourth and could even pose a threat to Mercedes and Ferrari’

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the Aston Martin AMR23. Bahrain February 2023

Spanish driver Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the Aston Martin AMR23. Bahrain February 2023

Aston Martin’s AMR23 is all the talk of the Bahrain paddock, one rival engineer saying their calculations have the green team possibly taking the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari.

With former Red Bull man Dan Fallows leading the charge with this year’s AMR23, the car has been likened to last year’s championship-winning RB18.

The team has gone with what they billed as a “bold and aggressive” design, the Aston Martin arguably the most revolutionary car on this year’s grid with the rest of the teams taking a more evolutionary approach.

It’s a case of so far, so good for Fernando Alonso’s new team in pre-season testing.

While the Spaniard was second quickest on the opening day, only pipped by Max Verstappen, he was P3 on Day Two.

It has caught the attention of Aston Martin’s rivals.

One unnamed engineer told Auto Motor und Sport: “Aston Martin has made the biggest step forward.

“According to our calculations, they are at least fourth and could even pose a threat to Mercedes and Ferrari.”

Rival drivers paying attention to the AMR23

Rival drivers have also noted the Aston Martin in action with Nico Hulkenberg saying the car looks smooth to drive.

“Fernando’s looks incredibly round and clean. Others have to work more on the steering wheel,” he said.

George Russell added: “The Aston Martin makes a well-balanced impression.”

Meanwhile Haas driver Kevin Magnussen told PlanetF1.com and other media: “I think Aston Martin looks fast.

“They seem to constantly be doing good long runs and when they try to put in a fast time, they seem to do it as well. So I think that they look like they’ve done a big step.”

Fernando Alonso happy, good, fitter

As for Alonso, the double World Champion was happy after his 130 laps on Friday.

“Yeah, it was good,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of laps so it was very much needed, the new car, also for me after a long winter; I did one day in Jerez over the winter with the old car and now today is really the first day with a lot of laps.

“So you learn so many things, and it felt great, so, happy with today.

“It felt good. It felt good because obviously you’ve been training for so long over the winter and now you jump in the car and there’s still some muscles that you need to adapt and there is no better training than driving the car.

“So now I feel fitter and I feel great for the race so it was a good day also in that regard.”