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Alonso becomes a significant contender for Red Bull in Bahrain



Alonso becomes a significant contender for Red Bull in Bahrain

Despite Aston Martin’s confirmation of significant performance improvement over the winter, evidenced by their topping of Friday practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso remains skeptical and continues to play down their prospects for the Formula 1 season opener.

During pre-season testing, Aston Martin demonstrated their potential to challenge the established big three Formula 1 teams.

They followed through on this promise with a strong start in Bahrain, where Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in FP2. Alonso, a two-time world champion who joined Aston Martin for this season after leaving Alpine, acknowledged this achievement as “another step in the right direction.”

Alonso expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, admitting that it felt good to be competitive and see their lap times.

However, he remained cautious about their prospects in the upcoming qualifying and race events, given the unpredictability of the first three races on different circuits. He emphasized the importance of focusing on their own progress and acknowledged that there is still room for improvement in the car, as the balance was not perfect during Friday’s practice session.

Alonso is being cautious not to get ahead of himself, but the reality is that the significant investment made by Lawrence Stroll’s team looks set to pay off. Led by highly-rated technical director Dan Fallows, the AMR23 is poised to propel the team from their seventh-place finish in the championship last year to at least the top of the midfield.

Alonso acknowledged the team’s progress, but he also stressed the importance of waiting to see how they perform in the first couple of races before making any predictions. He praised Stroll’s vision and expressed confidence that Aston Martin will eventually challenge the top teams in Formula 1, given the team’s new car and technical department.


Alonso acknowledged that there is still much to learn about the Aston Martin car, but he confirmed the widespread belief that it is a very good F1 car.

During his qualifying simulations, the car performed well, particularly on low fuel. Despite track conditions that resulted in reduced grip, the car proved to be compliant and usable, which has given the team an advantage over other competitors.

In contrast to pre-season favorite Red Bull, which struggled to adjust to the new track conditions, Aston Martin’s AMR23 has remained consistent and reliable.

Lance Stroll’s swift adaptation to the car following his injury is a testament to its usability and confirms the team’s progress in developing a competitive car for the 2023 season.

Fernando Alonso has been identified as a significant threat to Red Bull in Bahrain

Alonso becomes a significant contender for Red Bull in Bahrain

Based on his impressive performance during Friday practice and his experience as a two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso has emerged as one of Red Bull’s biggest threats at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Although Aston Martin is a relatively new team and has yet to prove themselves against the top teams, Alonso’s driving skills and the car’s promising performance have caught the attention of Formula 1 fans and experts alike.

However, the competition is fierce, and anything can happen during qualifying and the race. Only time will tell whether Alonso and Aston Martin can maintain their momentum and challenge Red Bull and other top teams for the win.


Although there was initially skepticism from the outside world about the potential of the Aston Martin car, those within the Formula 1 paddock were not surprised by its strong performance.

Even before the car hit the track, rumors were circulating about the impressive windtunnel numbers that Aston Martin was producing. Other teams took notice when the car proved to be quick in pre-season testing, with Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton among those who acknowledged its speed.

During Friday’s practice sessions, Fernando Alonso went fastest in the single-lap runs of FP2, following Sergio Perez’s Red Bull in the opening session.

While some may still doubt whether the car was running on low fuel, there is no denying that the AMR23 is a very fast car. It appears to be on par with Ferrari and significantly faster than Mercedes in their current states of development.

However, the consensus is that the Aston Martin car is still some way behind the pace of Red Bull, which was compromised by Max Verstappen’s dissatisfaction with the car’s behavior. If Red Bull experiences any issues, though, Alonso and Aston Martin are poised to take advantage and compete at the front of the pack.

During the morning session of FP2, Max Verstappen trailed behind his teammate Sergio Perez and was initially unhappy with the behavior of his car, reporting over the radio that the back of the car was jumping around more than during testing.

He came in for further adjustments, and whatever was changed appeared to work, as he set the second-fastest lap time, only 0.169s behind Alonso and slightly faster than Perez. Verstappen also set the long-run pace, averaging a couple of tenths faster than Alonso.


Despite taking into account Verstappen’s time-consuming moment, he was still a few tenths off the pace of Perez’s fastest time in testing, indicating that the track may not have been as fast as it was on the final day of testing.

There is also speculation that the Red Bull may have fallen out of its sweet spot. Dr. Helmut Marko denied reports that the FIA had asked the team to increase its ride height as a result of falling foul of the FIA metric.

Verstappen acknowledged the difficult start to the day and the need to find his rhythm again. He noted that the Aston Martins are looking competitive and that there is still work to do to put all the pieces together. Overall, Verstappen remains confident in the competitive potential of the Red Bull car.

After this weekend, any remaining doubts about Aston Martin’s pace will likely disappear. While it is possible that they may have run their long runs with higher engine modes or lower fuel weight than other teams, there is no evidence to support this theory.

Ferrari’s performance appears to be falling behind that of Red Bull and Aston Martin, with the car lacking stability on corner entry and losing pace over longer runs.

Mercedes also struggled, with Lewis Hamilton finishing eighth-fastest on single-lap pace, around 0.5s behind Alonso. Hamilton was candid in his assessment, acknowledging that the team is “a long way off” the pace of the front runners.

Long-run pace during the second practice session.


All of the long runs were completed on the soft compound tires.

RankDriverAverage Lap Time

In addition to the strong performances from Aston Martin and Red Bull, there were several other noteworthy performances during Friday’s practice sessions. Nico Hulkenberg made a strong return to Formula 1, going fifth-fastest overall in the Haas car and even splitting the Ferraris.

Pierre Gasly’s Alpine also showed promising pace, outpacing both Mercedes cars in both single lap and long runs. The McLarens, on the other hand, appeared to be challenging to drive, with Lando Norris showcasing his impressive skills when setting a time that matched Hamilton’s.

Overall, the first day of practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix gave fans and experts plenty to talk about, with a wide range of performances and surprising results. As the weekend progresses, it remains to be seen whether the current front runners will maintain their dominance or if other teams will rise to the challenge.

Practice 2 concluded with the following results.

PositionDriverCarBest TimeGap to Leader
1Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m30.907s
2Max VerstappenRed Bull1m31.076s+0.169s
3Sergio PérezRed Bull1m31.078s+0.171s
4Charles LeclercFerrari1m31.367s+0.46s
5Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m31.376s+0.469s
6Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m31.45s+0.543s
7Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m31.475s+0.568s
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m31.543s+0.636s
9Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m31.57s+0.663s
10Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m31.586s+0.679s

Alonso Friday practice Bahrain Alonso Friday practice Bahrain Alonso Friday practice Bahrain Alonso Friday practice Bahrain

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