All 23?  It's still a long way to a Red Bull solo

Red Bull dominates in Bahrain, the competition is shocked – except Aston Martin.

One imagines a new number two in the scene, and this analysis is not far off the mark. What Fernando Alonso proved in the tests and then on the race weekend, what Lance Stroll underlined despite his enormous physical handicap (with all due respect: the…hmmm…sometimes indisposed Canadian drove what was perhaps his best race with a handicap!), Ferrari and Mercedes as well as the rest of the midfield to think about.

The reactions in the other teams to the double double of the “Bulls” in qualifying and the race ranged from a shrug to depression, only Alonso was even more emotional than Verstappen, Perez and their team.

Alonso: Aston Martin move was ‘like a bet’

“The decision eight months ago to swap Alpine for Aston Martin was like a bet,” admitted the 41-year-old GP senior.

Who would have thought (and Alonso could only hope, not bet) that Aston Martin’s aero department would find up to two seconds per lap (track dependent) compared to the 2022 car?

“I could have gone another hour,” said Alonso after the 1:35 race – what better compliment for the technicians who put this car on the wheels? Even if the Asturian was around 27 seconds behind Perez and almost 39 seconds behind Dominator Verstappen.

It can be assumed that Charles Leclerc would have had a difficult time against Alonso in the fight for third place without an electrical problem in the Ferrari. In any case, teammate Carlos Sainz had no chance, losing ten seconds to Alonso.

The winter wonder that failed to materialize and the threat of stagnation

Aston Martin as a Mercedes customer in front of the factory team, that gives Formula 1 new aspects that it urgently needs in view of the existing Red Bull dominance.

A summary of the first of 23 weekends does not look good for some teams: Ferrari did not manage a winter miracle like Aston Martin, Mercedes is no longer threatened with stagnation at the top level. Even a complete revision of the current car concept is in the room.

And in the rear midfield it gets even tighter because Alpine seems to have slipped there too. Still, Pierre Gasly was able to gloss over a disastrous start for France with a run from 20th place to two World Championship points, while Esteban Ocon’s series of fatalities and errors (with three penalties) was likely to remain unique.

And at AlphaTauri, no upswing is foreseeable for the time being. The Faenza team would urgently need point results in order not to further fuel sales rumors. Only good results would take Franz Tost’s team out of speculation.

Russell bets: “Red Bull will win every race this year”

Seeing black doesn’t help Red Bull’s competition, but the blackest even less – like George Russell, because the Mercedes driver prophesied disillusioned: “Red Bull has this World Cup in the bag. I don’t think anyone can really fight them. I bet. Red Bull wins every race this year.”

Well, Bahrain must have really depressed Russell. Even if Verstappen/Perez won 17 of 22 races last year. But all?

We remember the comparable situation in 1988 when McLaren-Honda won 15 of 16 races with the dream (to some nightmare) team Senna/Prost. But there was Monza, Ayrton Senna was in the lead when he was knocked out by Williams’ substitute Jean-Louis Schlesser when he was lapped. Lucky for Ferrari: The Scuderia celebrated a “historic” double home win by Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto three weeks after Enzo Ferrari’s death. McLaren’s “All In” was prevented.

Even 2023 is still young, a lot can happen. That reminds me of my former Latin professor, who warned smugly before every exam: “Even the hosts have to die.” The same applies to Formula 1: Nothing is guaranteed.

Another comment on the Bahrain GP (which Bernie Ecclestone and Gerhard Berger, among others, as regular guests and Audi’s Chief Technology Officer Oliver Hoffmann as a “spy” couldn’t miss on site): 99,500 spectators over three days, 36,000 on Sunday and a party atmosphere that lasted well into Into the night – after 19 years, Formula 1 has really arrived (and been embraced) in the small kingdom.


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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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