Aston Martin team principal's damning verdict of whether it can catch Red Bull this season
Aston Martin F1 team principal Mike Krack mentioned that the team are not too focused on closing the gap to championship leaders Red Bull and are focused on themselves in the early part of the season.
The British team caught everyone by surprise in the first two races as they emerged as the second-fastest team behind the world champions on pure pace. The Silverstone-based outfit have notched up two P3 finishes in Bahrain and Jeddah, courtesy of their new signing Fernando Alonso.
While appearing on the F1 Nation podcast, Krack said:
"I think it will be very, very hard to close the gap even if they were standing still. But we are not too preoccupied with this gap. We have decided that we really need to look at ourselves and try to improve our car and then we see where we end up with."
"It was the same last year, you get obsessed by the gap and sometimes you are a bit closer as someone else has an issue, and the next time you are further away again. So this is all relative and you need a couple of samples of different racetracks to really know where you are."
"I think Aston Martin have caught everyone by surprise by the jump they've made" - Alpine F1 director
Alpine F1 sporting director Alan Permane stated that they, like everyone else on the grid, were surprised by the progress of their rival Aston Martin in 2023.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said:
"It's not satisfying that we're not where we want to be in terms of pace. We want to be a bit quicker than that, up fighting those guys. I think we are closer to Ferrari and closer to Merc than were last year."
"I haven't really had a good analysis of it yet, but I'm sure we're closer to Ferrari because at this time last year, they were fighting for wins. Obviously, Aston have made a huge leap, and we're the fifth-quickest team, which is not where we want to be.
"Our target was to be closer to third place. That isn't the case at the moment. Actually, it may be, because if you say Mercedes is the third-quickest team, maybe we're closer to them than we were last year. But it's not good enough. It's not where we want to be, and I think Aston Martin have caught everyone by surprise by the jump they've made."
It will be fascinating to see if Alpine can catch up to Aston Martin with their in-season developments in 2023.