Martin Brundle reveals major advantage Aston Martin have over Max Verstappen and Red Bull

Fernando Alonso is set to be a serious rival to Max Verstappen in the fight for the 2023 world championship.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle believes Aston Martin could become the “major challengers” to Red Bull this season, with the Silverstone-based side set to benefit from their disappointing 2022 campaign.

Aston Martin backed up their impressive pre-season with a podium at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, with Fernando Alonso having been incredibly fast at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Many have likened Aston Martin’s AMR23 to Red Bull’s 2022 car, with it being a supporting factor in their rapid rise from being seventh in the pecking order last year, to third this year.

The only way for Aston Martin is seemingly up, with the British outfit having more wind tunnel time this season than Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

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Teams are awarded wind tunnel time based on their positioning in the previous year’s constructors’ championship, meaning Red Bull have received very minimal after winning the 2022 title, whilst Aston Martin have received a lot after having finished seventh.

Brundle believes this could result in Aston Martin being a real threat to Red Bull mid-season, given how much more time they’ll have to develop upgrades in the wind tunnel.

Likewise, Brundle believes Aston Martin’s success will be “doubly painful” for Mercedes, who supply several key components to the British side.

“Because of their lowly championship finishing position last year, under the latest rules Aston Martin have so much more wind tunnel development time than their main three rivals,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.

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“It’s already a good package but if they know where to go to improve it, then by mid-season they could emerge as the major challengers to Red Bull. That’s doubly painful for Mercedes because Aston Martin have the same engine, gearbox and rear suspension and use the same wind tunnel.”

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With Aston Martin having demonstrated their strong pace, “playground politics” are already starting to take place, with the side having followed Red Bull’s design philosophy.

“At this juncture Red Bull will pipe up that, due to personnel movements, Aston have followed their design philosophy remarkably closely,” Brundle added.

“That’s the playground politics of what is in effect a very small group of intensively competitive people.”