Sergio Perez joins in with Aston Martin banter: ‘Nice to see three Red Bulls on podium’
Sergio Perez was happy to share the podium with honorary Red Bull driver Fernando Alonso, as Aston Martin continue to receive the banter from the Bahrain GP-winning team.
Aston Martin turned out to be arguably the story of the paddock at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the team taking a huge leap from P7 finishers in 2022 to now mixing it up with Ferrari and Mercedes in the ‘best-of-the-rest’ battle behind Red Bull.
And it was Aston Martin who came out on top in Bahrain, Alonso completing overtakes on Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on his way to a P3 finish, marking the perfect start to his time with Aston Martin.
Max Verstappen took a comfortable victory ahead of Perez, making it a Red Bull one-two, and with Alonso joining them on the podium, Red Bull boss Christian Horner joked that it was great to see their old car still going so well, that a light-hearted dig at Aston Martin.
The team has been on a major recruitment drive over recent times in the pursuit of ultimately reaching the front of the grid, and one of the key hires has been Red Bull’s former aero chief Dan Fallows, who is now Aston Martin technical director.
The Aston Martin AMR23 does share concept similarities to the double title-winning Red Bull RB18 of 2022, so Perez also could not resist a bit of friendly banter.
Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com after the Bahrain GP, where he was joined by Verstappen and Alonso, Perez said: “Oh it’s nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium!”
When a following question was then posed to “Fernando and the Red Bull drivers”, Perez would interrupt with: “We are all Red Bull drivers!”
Christian Horner can’t resist light-hearted dig at Aston Martin after Bahrain GP
Fernando Alonso ripping up the rulebook with Aston Martin move already vindicated
Lawrence Stroll fires clear warning shot to F1 rivals after Aston Martin podium
But, in all seriousness, Perez is happy to see Alonso back in a podium-worthy challenger, and suspects that the AMR23 will remain a threat during the 23-round season.
“Very happy to see Aston and Fernando up here,” he said. “I think it’s been a tremendous effort and it’s great to see Fernando on his first race for the team on the podium.
“I think they certainly have a very good car. They will be a contender for sure in a few tracks, so this season in Formula 1 is extremely long, so anything can happen. So yeah, it’s just nice to see Fernando and Aston.”
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher