(Motorsport-Total.com) – Max Verstappen doesn’t think Fernando Alonso is a contender for the world title in 2023, but he certainly believes the 41-year-old Aston Martin veteran is capable of winning: in the position Fernando is in now That is, in some races I was 20 to 40 seconds short of the winner. You can still win two or three races a year because there are some tracks that fit your car and where everything fits. If you get a little lucky in those, you can win.”
Fernando Alonso was the big surprise in the opening match of Formula 1 in Bahrain
Alonso finished fifth in qualifying in Bahrain, 0.6 seconds behind Verstappen on pole and also behind the two Ferraris. However, in racing trim Aston Martin was not the third force but the second, mainly because of much less tire wear than Ferrari’s. In the end, Alonso passed Carlos Sainz and finished third.
However, Verstappen was 38.6 seconds short after 57 laps, each with a pit stop strategy. This corresponds to approximately 0.7 seconds per lap. Verstappen drove C3-C3-C1, Alonso C3-C1-C1. “You definitely have a really strong package,” Verstappen shows his respect for the new competition, but also says: “Now it’s about constantly developing the car.”
“I hope it’s Fernando because he’s had a few years now when he wasn’t able to drive up front. I’m happy he was on the podium in the first race,” said the 25-year-old. “I think it is difficult to say this year if they have a chance to fight for the World Cup, but the victories are definitely there.”
Jeddah is a completely different road than Zakher
However, it remains to be seen if Aston Martin can be as competitive on all tracks as it is in Bahrain. Bahrain is a tire killer because of its rough asphalt and high temperatures, and it’s also a fairly heavy track. It’s different in Saudi Arabia, where the second Grand Prix of the year will be held on March 19th. Jeddah is more front-heavy.
Therefore, Ralf Schumacher is “absolutely convinced that there will now be races where they simply cannot get the grip potential from tyres,” says the Sky expert in one Interview on Formel1.de YouTube channel. (Subscribe to the channel now for free and don’t miss any reviews from Ralf Schumacher!)
Is Ferrari lying to itself, Ralf Schumacher?
Reliability, wear and tear, subjective assessment: Ralf Schumacher believes that because of these problems Ferrari has no chance of becoming world champion.
to the video section
In addition: “The team is still very, very young.” Even if the strategies could be implemented optimally, Fernando Alonso “couldn’t get everything out of the car. We experienced it at Red Bull, they have evolved with Mercedes and in their mission. And Aston Martin is facing the process.”
‘Tire Whisperer’: Was the 2022 Aston Martin the same?
“Nevertheless, they are the second force at the moment,” says Schumacher. This applies to Ferrari and Mercedes “to beat sometimes. Also in consistency. And what I also noticed: at the end of the race, with less fuel, Alonso was very strong. So there is more potential there.”
One of the main characteristics of the Aston Martin AMR23, at least early in the season, seems to be that it’s particularly gentle on the tyres. This was already evident in the winter testing, and the impression was confirmed in the race on Sunday. The quality of raising tires to temperature quickly to qualify may be lacking.
Not a new trend at Aston Martin: As early as 2022, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll sometimes found it difficult to get over the first quarter hurdle. Once they got past that, good results were often possible in the race because tire wear was much higher with other teams. In 2023, the same trend is seen at a much higher level.
“They have a very good car,” thought Sergio Perez, Red Bull driver. “I’m sure they will challenge us on some tracks. And the Formula 1 season is long, anything can happen. So I’m happy for Fernando and Aston. It’s good to see them up front.”
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”