Aston Martin pinpoint Red Bull’s two biggest strengths with the RB19

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the AMR23. Australia March 2023

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the AMR23. Australia March 2023

With three wins from three races, Red Bull’s RB19 has set itself apart from its rivals as a race-winning car with Aston Martin’s Tom McCullough pointing to its strength not only in cornering but also in straight-line speed.

And that’s even before Red Bull’s much-talked about DRS has been activated.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are 1-2 in the Drivers’ Championship with rivals fearing they could win every one of this year’s 23 races. Even Fernando Alonso, third in the standings with his hat-trick of P3s, doubts he’ll win a race this season unless Red Bull implode.

That’s simply because they have the best car overall, the RB19 not hampered in anyway in cornering, straight-line speed, and definitely not when it comes to DRS speed with that said to be two or three tenths faster than any other teams’ DRS.

“[Red Bull’s] car is, from an efficiency side of things, very strong,” McCullough said as per RacingNews365.com.

“Even without the DRS, it’s very strong in the straight line, but it’s very strong in the corners too.

“So it’s not as if it’s going a lot slower than the corners, so the car is, just overall, a very strong car.

“It’s DRS, which seems pretty strong as well. [Australia] has one of the highest sensitivities to DRS in qualifying – four DRS straights per a relatively short lap. So it’s very powerful to have a strong DRS [at Albert Park].

“Their car is just strong in the corners and very strong in the straights.”

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As for Aston Martin, Alonso has admitted that straight-line speed is not their strength, with that said to be the result of the team having to run bigger wings in order to make up for a diffuser that’s less effective.

That’s giving them a more draggy car than the Red Bull, although reserve driver Felipe Drugovich has stated that this year’s car is less so than last season’s.

Asked what Aston Martin need to improve on overall in order to challenge for race wins, McCullough replied: “Lap time, relative to the Red Bull.

“They’re slightly quicker in the corners and definitely faster on the straights at the moment, especially the DRS switch as well.

“Those are the areas but I do think we need to go to a few different tracks; these are atypical tracks, these first three.”

Aston Martin will bring a new rear wing to the next race, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but it will be only one of a handful the team will design this season with McCullough citing budget cap restraints.

“We are every week in the wind tunnel looking for development avenues that can bring significant performance, keeping the cost ceiling in mind,” added McCullough.

“From Baku onwards, parts will come in. It’s really the process that everyone is doing right now.

“Last year, we made a lot of rear wings to have an optimal rear wing for many circuits, but that’s very expensive.

“This year, we have had the same wing for three races. We will introduce a rear wing at Baku, where a lot of efficiency is required, but we plan everything from a cost ceiling perspective.”