Mercedes Fears: 'Aston Martin might finish second place' as competition increases by a lot

While Fernando Alonso will undoubtedly compete in Bahrain for the opening race of the year, Lance Stroll's teammate Felipe Drugovich may take Lance Stroll's spot.

Fernando Alonso in a file photo (image: Midjourney)
By Mahaksh Chauhan | Feb 27, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, believes that Aston Martin could do well in the 2023 season given their strong preseason testing performance in Bahrain. If everything works out, according to Wolff, they might place as high as second. Aston Martin, meanwhile, previously stated that their performance is their top focus. Although Wolff is not overly bullish about Mercedes’ performance in comparison to its rivals, he sounds very hopeful for Mike Krack’s team. He told: “According to our calculations, Aston Martin could finish in second place.” With its AMR23 putting in some incredible performances during preseason testing, Aston Martin has generated excitement for the forthcoming season (in contrast to how they performed last season).

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Benefited from experience

They should gain from Fernando Alonso’s expertise with him behind the wheel. The Spaniard has recorded fast lap times. It was impressive to see Aston Martin at the top of the list, even though they are mostly unimportant during testing. The squad anticipates a better result this time than they did in 2022 with this kind of progress.

Lance Stroll replacement?

Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll was involved in a bicycle accident just before preseason testing began, putting his participation in Bahrain in jeopardy. It has been hotly debated if he will compete in Bahrain and, if not, who will take his place. There were rumors that Sebastian Vettel will make a comeback after quitting last year, but as the team stated, Felipe Drugovich could replace Stroll. Aston Martin announced:

“If you observed, you would have seen that there was not a single wheel lock, apex missed, or anything similar. So, we’re thrilled with what he’s accomplished. Lance will continue to receive every opportunity to compete from the team while he recovers from his injuries. Felipe will drive the AMR23 alongside Fernando (Alonso) if he is unable to race.” As Aston Martin prepares for their third F1 season, expectations are only increasing. Alonso also expects that the team will play better than it did in the previous two games and advance in the midfield.

Expectations from Fernando Alonso

Luca Furbatto, director of engineering at Aston Martin, had kind words for Alonso. Furbatto thinks that despite having almost twenty years of Formula One experience and being the oldest driver on the 2023 grid, he hasn’t changed even a little throughout the years. He is confident that Alonso will do well in the forthcoming campaign and that the club will be able to advance in the standings. He told the journalist:

“Alonso feels happy. We experienced a few minor issues yesterday, but they were fixed. He is an absolute beast, fantastic. He and I collaborated at McLaren fifteen years ago, and he hasn’t changed at all. The team’s objective? If we are in the top midfield at the end of the season, we will be content.”

As Sebastian Vettel declared his retirement from the sport in the previous season, Fernando Alonso made the switch to Aston Martin. Soon after that, the Spanish decided to stop driving for Alpine, with whom he had spent the previous two seasons. The AMR23’s development appears to put all of the criticisms about his move to Aston Martin to rest.