Red Bull’s ominous warning to Aston Martin ahead of part two of the championship

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso smiling on the podium with their champagne bottles. Bahrain March 2023

Race winner Max Verstappen and third placed Fernando Alonso smiling on the podium with their champagne bottles. Bahrain March 2023

Second by one point so far this season, Helmut Marko has warned Aston Martin their scope for development will be “massively reduced” in the second half of this season.

He’s also told them to forget about winning in Spain as Fernando Alonso “could never” challenge Max Verstappen for that win.

The first part of this year’s championship has seen Aston Martin, more to the point Alonso, emerge as Red Bull’s main rival with the Spaniard bagging five podiums in six races.

His record of top-threes is bettered only by Verstappen who, given four of his have come from race wins, leads the championship with 144 points, 39 ahead of Sergio Perez, and a further 12 up on Alonso.

Although Alonso’s first four podiums of this season were P3s, last time out in Monaco he recorded a runner-up result with the 41-year-old now dreaming of a first grand prix victory in a decade with his last win coming at the 2013 Spanish GP.

Marko, though, has told him to forget about it at this year’s edition of the Spanish GP.

“I believe in Barcelona it should be easier for us to be the frontrunner,” he told

“I mean, Alonso is surprisingly fast and very consistent, but he could never really challenge Max.” recommends

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Ominously for Aston Martin, the Red Bull motorsport advisor reckons they’ll struggle even more in the latter part of the championship.

Today second in the championship, Aston Martin face a massive reduction in their wind tunnel testing time in the second part of the season as that’s based on championship performance.

Last season they were P7 with 95 percent of the wind tunnel time on the Aerodynamic Testing Restriction scale, this year second place could cost them 20 percent of their runs.

“If Aston Martin stays second in the championship,” Marko explained, “there will be a wind tunnel reset towards the middle of a season.

“They especially will lose an enormous amount of wind tunnel time. In addition, the budget ceiling is of course also a factor that can have an impact.”

It begs the question can Red Bull win every one of this year’s 22 races.

“Now you’re trying to get me to do an Arsene Wenger aren’t you,” Marko said of the ‘Invincibles’ who didn’t lose a match in the 2003/4 season. “But I’m certainly not going to do that.

“There are far too many variables for that.

“You were able to see again in Monaco what can happen with the weather. A lot can go wrong and the competition is too strong to do that yet.

“We’ll take it race by race and certainly not daydream about something like that.”