Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has joined the growing number of Aston Martin’s rivals who are impressed by their car’s performance ahead of the new season.
Aston Martin enjoyed a strong end to the 2022 season and Horner believes they’ve carried that momentum into this year. “I think they’ve made a big step,” he told Sky.
“It looks like their concept of car is moving forward and they look like they’re not too far away. Fernando in particular looks very competitive.”
Haas finished one place behind Aston Martin in the constructors championship last year. Their driver Kevin Magnussen also believes the Silverstone-based team are in good shape for the new season.
“I think Aston Martin looks fast,” said Magnussen. “They seem to constantly be doing good long runs, and when they try to put a lap time, they seem to do it as well. I think they look like they’ve done a big step.”
Esteban Ocon, who drove for Aston Martin when it competed as Force India, suspects his former team have started 2023 well despite the difficulties of analysing testing times.
“It’s early days to really give a conclusion,” he said. “Those cars it’s so easy to go from five seconds slower to a five second quicker in one go so it’s difficult to tell exactly the fuel loads. Obviously we can see the tyres but the energy management and what engine mode you run. So they look for sure competitive at the moment.”
Ocon has reunited with his former Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer at Alpine. Szafnauer also has his eye on Aston Martin, among the team’s other rivals.
“I’m nervous about everybody in the midfield,” he said. “It’s not just Aston that we’ve got to beat.”
“With regulations that are stable, everyone gets closer together, and then it’s other things that matter,” said Szafnauer. “You’ve got to do a lot of things right to be top of that midfield. So it’s not just Aston, I’m I’m worried about everybody.”
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