Red Bull announces Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin as a big threat – Red Bull’s Christian Horner was impressed with Aston Martin’s progress during winter testing. Will Aston Martin be able to challenge the top teams on the grid this season in F1? The Red Bull boss says he believes a big threat is the Silverstone based team and in particular Fernando Alonso. Red Bull are surprised with the British team’s progress.
After the winter test, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he was particularly impressed with Aston Martin’s progress this year.
Aston Martin had a strong winter test this week in Bahrain with a reliable AMR23 and good performances from its new star driver, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who joined the team this year to replace Sebastian Vettel.
Aston Martin finished a distant seventh in the constructors’ championship last year, but the British team is now tipped to start the 2023 campaign much closer to the front of the grid, and a possible threat to Red Bull and Ferrari.
“I think they have taken a big step forward. It looks like their car concept has taken them forward and it looks like they are not too far away [from Red Bull]. Fernando [Alonso] in particular looks very competitive,” Horner told F1TV in Bahrain on Saturday.
During the three days of winter testing, the Red Bull team once again impressed with a car that is extremely stable on track and looks very good based on data and lap times. However, Horner is cautious about making any predictions.
“It’s very difficult to say what the pecking order is. Ferrari looks very fast, Mercedes’ form is hard to read at the moment, are they holding back? We’ll see all that next week [at the first race of the year],” added the Briton.
Max Verstappen’s testing programme – the reigning world champion – ended on Friday and Horner believes his star driver is in the best possible shape ahead of the start of the new season.
“I think he’s really been in a good place for a few years now. He’s at a stage in his career where his confidence is very high.”
“He’s also got that experience where he can go out and make a time, we could see that from day one of the tests.”
“During the tests he worked through the programme set out by the team and he seems to know this car well now. So he’s in great shape, physically he’s in great shape and ready to start this new season.”