Bad news for Aston Martin as Red Bull’s true pace advantage comes to light

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

Shaving 1.5s off their deficit to Red Bull over the winter, Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack concedes it’s not possible to repeat that as they now have less scope to improve.

In fact he reckons even if Red Bull didn’t bring a single upgrade to the RB19 this season, that remaining half a second or so gap is “too big” to close this year.

Aston Martin have been the surprise team of this year’s championship, their “old” Red Bull, as Christian Horner put it, the second fastest car on the grid.

As such they’re P2 in the teams’ championship ahead of Mercedes and Ferrari while Fernando Alonso is an impressive third in the Drivers’ with his hat-trick of podiums.

The pace of the AMR23 has brought ‘Mission 33’ to the forefront, Alonso seeking his first win in a decade.

However, team boss Krack admits there is still a massive deficit between his team’s F1 cars and Red Bull’s.

“There is a difference between confidence and arrogance,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “We are substantially behind Red Bull. Even if they stood still, the gap would be too big to catch up with them in one season.

“Of course, we take the fastest car as a reference. We just don’t go crazy and constantly look at the distances with respect to Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine.

“We have to be realistic. We have to look up, but we also have to look at third and fourth place. Things can change very quickly in the championship. We are not far ahead of Mercedes. As a team you can quickly drop down the leaderboard.” recommends

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‘Clear that Red Bull are the fastest’

Aston Martin have scored 65 points this season, 45 of those coming from Alonso’s hat-trick of P3s. They are, however, 58 points down on Red Bull with Mercedes’ deficit down to nine points.

Krack concedes having made huge inroads in the off-season, Toto Wolff saying Aston Martin’s gains are much as two seconds, there is now less scope for another huge improvement.

“We have to wait a few races,” he said as per “You can’t tell after a race whether you’re here or there, you need a little more data to really understand where you are.

“We started this year on a better footing, so it won’t be as easy as last year.

“But we have to make progress if we want to stay where we are. Because even if we don’t do anything, we will go backwards.”

Adding that it is “clear that Red Bull are the fastest”, Krack says Aston Martin “have a great car. But the Red Bull is much faster on the straights and that’s something we definitely have to work on.”

Krack praises Alonso’s ‘enthusiasm and seemingly inexhaustible energy’

While there is no questioning Aston Martin have a better car this season than they did in 2022, Krack believes some of the team’s improvements have to be credited to Alonso.

The Spaniard has replaced Sebastian Vettel as Lance Stroll’s team-mate and to date has only words of praise and encouragement for his new team. Krack appreciates that.

“Fernando infects everyone in the team with his enthusiasm and seemingly inexhaustible energy,” the German told Speedweek.

“He is truly fascinating to work with, he sweeps us all away like a powerful wave. You just have to listen to his comments on the radio. They are proof of his enthusiasm.

“Fernando is a wonderful motivator and inspires the team to do everything for him and with him.”