Martin Brundle strongly disagrees with Mercedes and Aston Martin claim

Aston Martin were faster than Mercedes during pre-season testing last week in Bahrain.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle has disagreed with the opinion of fellow Sky Sports colleague Ted Kravitz, with the duo having given their views on Mercedes’ chances ahead of the forthcoming season.

It’s been a challenging start to the year already for the Silver Arrows, with the Germans having endured a few problems during pre-season testing.

The team certainly haven’t entered 2023 as strong as they were hoping, following their miserable season last year.

To make matters worse for Mercedes, they’re set to have a challenge on their hands to hold on to third in the pecking order, due to an extraordinary off-season by Aston Martin.

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The Silverstone-based team have designed a mighty car, with Fernando Alonso having been amongst the Red Bulls during testing.

He cemented Aston Martin’s pace during FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, after finishing the first session of the weekend in second.

With that in mind, Kravitz has ranked Aston Martin as third in the pecking order.

“I’ve got them third and potentially even closer to Ferrari than that,” Kravitz told Sky Sports F1.

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“That’s to do with Fernando Alonso’s race run. Aston Martin have Red Bull worried from day one, Adrian Newey [Red Bull’s technology chief] mentioned them in the teams that he’s concerned about. The car is essentially good and has some nice ideas.”

Whilst their pace in pre-season and FP1 does suggest that Aston Martin are a side to watch this season, Brundle believes it’s “too big of a turnaround” for them to go from being seventh in the standings, to third.

Brundle expects Mercedes to still be ahead of Aston Martin but that they do have a “bit of work to do”, in order to catch their rivals.

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“No. That’s too much to ask, I think. Too big of a turnaround,” Brundle told Sky Sports News.

“Mercedes, their car was pretty handy towards the end of last year – don’t forget, George Russell won in Brazil. So, I think that’s underplaying how strong Mercedes are as a team and that car can be.

“Our reference point is the Bahrain test and it did look as if it was Red Bull out front, Ferrari gamely chasing them and then Mercedes scratching their heads, not quite sure where they were at – a few issues, but not too far behind.

“So a bit like last year. They’ve got a bit of work to do to match the relentless pace of the Red Bull.”