Formula 1: Aston Martin “could cause a real surprise”

The first Grand Prix of the 2023 Formula 1 season has not yet been contested, but competitors from the Aston Martin team agree that the progress is immense for the British manufacturer.

• Read also: Lance Stroll will start in Bahrain

• Read also: Overview of the Aston Martin, McLaren and Alpine teams

This obviously smiles on Lance Stroll, who was able to drive the AMR23 in free practice for the first time on Friday. On the Sakhir circuit, a few days before the Bahrain GP, ​​the Quebecer showed the sixth best time of the two sessions.

Well recovered from his wrist injury sustained in a fall on his bike, Stroll completed his fastest lap in 1 min 34.298 s in the morning. He improved thereafter, with a time of 1:31.450, cutting almost a second between the leader and him.

Formula 1: Aston Martin

“It was great to be back in the car today and doing my first real laps in 2023. It’s only been 13 days since my crash, and at first I didn’t expect to be back this soon in an F1 car, so to be here is incredible,” said Stroll, his remarks being echoed by his team’s website.

The Montrealer’s new teammate, veteran Fernando Alonso, set the fastest lap in the second practice session (1:30.907). Two hours earlier, he had slipped between the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, in second place.

“I felt good driving the car today and it’s good to see both our cars so high in the standings, especially after just three days of testing. The team works well together and we continue to learn a lot about the vehicle,” said Alonso.

Formula 1: Aston Martin

A strong impression

The Spaniard has had a very good start to the season and his success reflects on Aston Martin. Now that the two members of the duo are there, the other teams just have to behave themselves.

“I think they could cause a real surprise this year,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told They are the unexpected candidates. It shows that it is possible to go from the middle of the pack to potentially higher quickly.

“Clearly I think they’ve taken a big step forward compared to last year, if you remember Bahrain 2022,” added Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur. They perform on the short stints and the long ones, and are even more impressive when it lasts.”

The opponents of the green single-seaters are obviously impatiently awaiting the results of Saturday’s qualifying, then of the race the next day to decide with confidence.

With Stroll and the German Sebastian Vettel in his bucket seats, Aston Martin had concluded the 2022 season in seventh place in the constructors’ classification.

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