Formula 1: What can Aston Martin achieve this year?

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) /

After a surprising session during Formula 1 preseason testing, Aston Martin could be poised for an incredible turnaround — if everything goes right.

The 2023 Formula 1 season could be a huge step forward for Aston Martin. There is a lot for the fans in green to be excited about, and rightfully so.

Fernando Alonso jumped into the vacant seat left by Sebastian Vettel, the team revealed a car that has turned a lot of heads, and it seems as though they’ve developed a new identity.

The AMR23 caught the attention of the Formula 1 world when it was revealed on Monday, February 13. The revamped livery marked a drastic difference from the 2022 car, as noted by technical director Dan Fallows.

Still, you would be forgiven for remaining skeptical about Aston Martin’s potential for the upcoming Formula 1 season, just because of past results.

However, everything changed during preseason testing. The Aston Martin proved to be one of the fastest cars at Bahrain International Circuit in braking zones, even beating out the Red Bull car, according to F1 Data Analysis.

Such performances drew the praise of several drivers within the top three teams. Sergio Perez, who had prior experience with the team back when they were known as Racing Point, said that he expects Aston Martin to be fighting at the front.

Despite the high praise from the top drivers, Alonso wasn’t quick to make any bold claims about what the car would achieve early on in the season. He said that he didn’t believe that the car would be competing for the podium in Bahrain.

“I think we need to keep learning about the car…We are very happy with the car, but I think we have to have the feet on the ground and keep working on this good base package,” Alonso said in a recent interview.

It’s a relatively safe assumption to make. The top three teams have seemingly been invincible in recent memory, with defending champs Red Bull quite literally running circles around most teams. Furthermore, the Formula 1 season is a long, strenuous campaign, and there are a lot of things that can change over the course of a year (see: Ferrari).

Aside from the changes to the car catching the eyes of the Aston Martin faithful, the addition of the 41-year-old Alonso is highly intriguing in itself.

Alonso had a solid season last year, and his cutthroat driving style proved crucial to Alpine outmuscling McLaren for fourth place in the constructor championship. Aston Martin hope that his energy will follow through into this season.

Perhaps the biggest wild card will be whether or not Lance Stroll can improve in his seventh season in Formula 1. He finished in 15th place in the championship last year with just 18 points. He is set to be available to race in Bahrain after a bicycle accident initially put his status in jeopardy.

Even if Aston Martin’s dream scenarios come true, the most realistic outcome would likely be fourth place in the championship, behind the usual suspects. That would be a massive improvement and likely deemed a successful result.

But as everyone knows, anything can happen over the course of 23 races.

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The first true test of what the AMR23 can do will be this weekend in Bahrain. All eyes will be on the team in green, and whether or not they can live up to the hype.