Aston Martin may not have the pace of Red Bull but David Croft believes the AMR23 has less tyre degradation which could see Fernando Alonso mixing it up with the traditional big three.
Aston Martin head into the new season as arguably the most talked about team as they not only displayed good pace in pre-season testing but rivals also noted the consistent behaviour of the AMR23.
Going with what they’ve billed 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 noted in the design of the AMR23, a car that Croft reckons could challenge the traditional big three.
“Dan Fallows, technical director, Eric Blandin the aero guy is ex Mercedes, Mike Krack the team principal, they came last year round about January, February, this is their baby,” he said on Sky Sports’ preview show.
“And it looks a beautiful car in the hands of Fernando Alonso, it really does.
“Their medium run pace on the final day, the tyre deg was better even than Red Bull’s.
“I’m not sure it’s got the same pace, but I think they can do a lot strategically with that.
“Andrew Green, the old technical director has moved aside. This looks like a new car reborn for Aston Martin.”
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Aston Martin were heading into the new season under a cloud of uncertainty, not about whether their car is good, but who would be driving 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 confirming he’d be in the car if Stroll is unable to race, but sadly for Drugovich, he will not get the chance as the team has confirmed that Stroll is back for the season-opener.
Aston Martin can only focus on themselves, they can’t ‘slow’ Red Bull
But while Aston Martin may yet take a big step forward this season, Martin Brundle questions whether any of Red Bull’s nine rivals will be able to stop them.
They can, as he says, only focus on their own performances.
“Well as always you can’t control the performance of any other team or driver so you just have to control your own performance and improve it,” said the former F1 driver.
“Improve the aerodynamics, you always start with the aero where you can especially on these latest cars.
“Of course changes for 2023, having to lift the side and the underneath of the for the car up, bigger mirrors and things like that so it’s an evolution not a revolution.
“And you know Max has got talent to spare, confidence to spare, the team are loving being in garage one as the reigning Constructors’ Champions, and I think they’re on a high and I think all you can do is sort yourself out because you’re not slowing these guys down.”