Alonso counters Red Bull accusations

Fernando Alonso has accused Red Bull of not being truthful with its claims against Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso has accused Red Bull of not being truthful with its claims against Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso has countered the accusations from Red Bull that this year’s Aston Martin bears a close resemblance to last season’s F1 championship-winning RB18.

Driver Sergio Perez, team principal Christian Horner, and advisor Helmut Marko all made reference to the AMR23 and its likeness to Red Bull following Alonso’s podium drive in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

“It’s flattering to see the resemblance of that car to ours,” said Horner. “They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery, and it’s good to see the old car going so well.”

Marko went so far as to state that “it was nice to see three Red Bulls on the podium”.

Admittedly, Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows was the former head of aerodynamics at Red Bull prior to his switch, so it is understandable there will be comparisons.

There are design ideas from the RB18 that have carried over into this year’s Aston Martin, however, Alonso feels Red Bull is being disingenuous in their comments.

“Obviously, we are focused on ourselves,” said Alonso, when asked about the range of comments from Red Bull ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“As you said, there are very obvious things on the car that are very different.

“There has been a tremendous effort from everyone in the team to build this car – very unique ideas on the car – so I didn’t pay much attention.

“They were not even true because the car is very different.”

Saudi Arabia practice a ‘second test’ for all teams – Alonso

Whether Alonso can replicate his eye-catching performance from Bahrain around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit remains to be seen.

The two tracks are very different in nature, with Aston Martin appearing not to be the strongest on the straights in Bahrain, lending itself to suggest the car may struggle to adapt to Saudi Arabia’s high-speed street track.

For all 10 teams, the weekend is an interesting one given they only have one set of data to draw upon given the pre-season test and first race were at the same venue.

“It’s part of the rear-wing choices you make,” said two-time F1 champion Alonso.

“We could have used the monster rear wing and have gone fastest on the streets in Bahrain.

“It depends on how you set up the car, it’s very early in the season, and we don’t have all the parts available yet.

There is a challenge in front of us here in Jeddah, in Australia, to see how the car operates.

“Different winters in the past we’ve tested in Barcelona and Bahrain, so we’ve had two references.

“Now we only have one because we tested in Bahrain and we raced in Bahrain.

“So at the moment, it (practice in Jeddah) is going to be like a test day for many teams, including us, in trying to know the car at a different circuit and how you operate.”

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]