Aston Martin admit Red Bull have a huge vulnerability as Fernando Alonso targets title

Aston Martin currently sit second in the Constructors' Championship, 58 points behind Red Bull after three rounds of 2023.

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough isn’t afraid to admit that Red Bull’s budget cap penalty is “definitely an advantage” for the Silverstone-based team to exploit, with the surprise frontrunner doing all they can to catch the Austrians.

After being found guilty of having breached the 2021 budget cap, part of Red Bull’s penalty was a 10-percent reduction in permitted aerodynamic research, effectively meaning they had their total number of wind tunnel runs reduced.

Without their penalty even being taken into account, Red Bull were already set to receive the least number of runs, due to having won the 2022 Constructors’ Championship.

Whilst they have won the first three races of 2023 relatively comfortably, it’s expected that their budget cap penalty will begin to hurt them in the second half of the season, with Aston Martin hoping to use their considerably higher number of wind tunnel runs to their advantage.

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“It’s definitely an advantage, so we’re trying to use that as much as we can do at the moment,” McCullough told media, including

“For sure, the more time you’ve got, the more tests you can do, the more data you can analyse, so it’s good to have more time.”

Aston Martin have many more wind tunnel runs available this season than the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari, due to having finished seventh last season.

The way the system works is that the lower a team finishes in the Constructors’ Championship, the more time they receive in the wind tunnel for the following season.

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Aston Martin have certainly been exceptional this season, with the British team having claimed a podium at every round this season.

There one main issue this season, though, has been straight-line speed, which is arguably Red Bull’s biggest strength.

Given their struggles with straight-line speed, many have questioned whether the Monaco Grand Prix could be Aston Martin’s best chance of victory, with straight-line speed not being essential there.

McCullough isn’t getting ahead of himself, though, with him expecting Red Bull to still be very strong at the historic race.

“Again, I think Red Bull will turn up with a max downforce rear wing,” McCullough explained.

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“We’ll get to see how that performs where efficiency is critical. Monaco is obviously dominated a lot by low-speed car performance.

“At the moment, we make ourselves look a little bit better relative to some people, because of the size of the wing we carry. When everyone’s on the max wing, maybe that will even out a bit, but we’re still learning, to be honest.

“At the same time, nobody’s standing still, so we’re hopefully going to be bringing some developments going forwards, as everybody’s going to be doing, and the picture will rattle out.”