Ever since the Bahrain GP 2023 at Sakhir, the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team has been under the spotlight for outperforming the midfield and also its expectations for the 2023 season. After the retirement announcement of 4X WDC champion Sebastian Vettel, the team, owned by Canadian Billionaire Lawrence Stroll signed 44-year-old Fernando Alonso to the team.
After clocking the fastest lap times in FP2 and FP3, Alonso proceeded to claim the 5th spot in qualifying just under the Red Bull and Ferrari cars. Lance Stroll followed suit in 8th place.
In the final race, Alonso grabbed 3rd place and his 99th pole after Charles Leclerc had an issue with the powertrain and Alonso slid right into that spot. Alonso made two very spectacular moves; one with Lewis Hamilton and the other with Carlos Sainz, his Spanish protégé at Ferrari. Both moves took place at the 10th turn of the Sakhir circuit that involves racing downhill into a hairpin.
Alonso’s superior steering and DRS timing made it look effortless on both occasions.
“We knew that we were not bad, we knew that we had a strong race pace, but so many things could go wrong. After two laps, I was not dreaming of a podium to be very honest with you.” said Mike Krack, the team principal.
Fans say that this was the first time in a long time that the 2X WDC champion has gotten a car good enough to compete at the top and the upper midfield.
Aston Martin F1 team’s engine supplier
The brilliant performance by Aston Martin and their jump from 7th place with 0 points in the first race to 2nd place after the Bahrain GP has a lot to do with their all-new AMR23 which was termed as ‘aggressive’ by the team representatives.
Introducing the #AMR23.#NewEnergy pic.twitter.com/yAQbYJMmEz— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) February 13, 2023
However, the deal between the two teams seems to be in a bit of distress as for Mercedes, losing to a customer constructor is humiliating. Talks existed pre-season that Aston Martin might collaborate with Audi or create a new power unit altogether. But this seems farther than possible in the near future as the Alfa Romeo team seems to be collaborating with Audi in the 2026 season for the new generation of Formula 1 cars.
The team, since its inception in the 2021 season, obtains its power unit from the German automaker, Mercedes. This partnership however stems from when the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 team was known as Force India. In 2020, the team, then known as Racing Point had a car so similar to the 2019 Mercedes F1 W10, it was dubbed the ‘Pink Mercedes.’
Racing Point acknowledges its brake ducts – protested by Renault in the ‘Pink Mercedes’ #F1 copying row – are similar to Mercedes’, but insists they’re legally based on the 2019 parts it bought:https://t.co/GPI36umVnL— The Race (@wearetherace) August 1, 2020
The coming season seems optimistic for the British carmaker owned by Lawrence Stroll, with Fernando Alonso competing at the highest level after 2 decades in the sport and also Lance, Lawrence’s son, performing well and showing potential to be in the upped-mid grid regularly even after an injury that caused him to miss the pre-season testing at Bahrain.
Discussion about this post