Busted: Fernando Alonso caught snooping on Red Bull

Aston Martin were accused of copying Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix last season, after introducing a major upgrade package.

Aston Martin are certainly a team to watch this season, with Fernando Alonso having set the second fastest time on the opening day of pre-season testing, at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Whilst times are fairly irrelevant, Aston Martin’s pace was something that caught the eye of everyone who tuned in to see the start of pre-season testing.

Remarkably, had Alonso not made a mistake at the final corner on his fastest lap, the Spaniard would’ve topped the first day in Bahrain, which would’ve made a huge statement.

The Silverstone-based team have clearly worked relentlessly over the winter break, with many expecting them to be an outsider for podiums and potentially even victories this season.

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Based on their one lap pace, it’s easy to see why; however, their first day in Bahrain didn’t start great.

Felipe Drugovich was forced to stop the car in the opening minutes of the session, following an immediate issue.

Alonso, too, was forced to sit in the garage for a large amount of time in the afternoon, following floor damage.

Clearly some things need to be ironed out, but if they are able to build on their already impressive pace, then Aston Martin could cause a shock at the season opener next weekend.

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To highlight how strong they were on the opening day, Alonso’s time in the afternoon session was just 0.1s slower than the team managed in qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix last season.

Stats like that will fill the side with confidence, with Alonso and team principal Mike Krack having been seen laughing on the pit wall during the day.

Comically, a fan noticed that there was a picture of Red Bull’s RB19 on the screen by them, with the team, of course, having been nicknamed as the ‘green Red Bull’ last season.

Regardless of who they’ve used as inspiration for their new car, there is no doubt that it looks like an exciting package.

Reflecting on the day, Alonso was “pleased” with how his life as an Aston Martin driver started “despite some minor issues”.

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“Overall I am pleased with the first official day of testing here in Bahrain in the AMR23,” Alonso said, as per Aston Martin.

“As a team, we reached 100 laps in total, which is a strong start for the first day despite some minor issues that we resolved.

“We are still experimenting with lots of different things, so every lap we do is important and we learn something new about the car every time we go out. These first steps are always intriguing and so far I am enjoying this part of the winter preparation. We will use the information and learning from today to optimise things further tomorrow.”