Sky Sports pundit suggests Aston Martin have jumped Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Pre-season testing in Bahrain is now completed, giving teams just under a week to iron out any issues ahead of the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The three days of testing in Bahrain gave fans their first look at the cars ahead of the 2023 F1 season, with some teams making significant leaps forward from last season.

While lap times have to be taken with a pinch of salt during testing, due to the fact that teams will be running different plans, different tyres and potentially even sandbagging, clear improvements can be seen.

Red Bull topped the timing screens every day, making them the clear favourites for the 2023 constructors’ championship, with Ferrari not too far behind.

Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz has now ranked all ten teams following pre-season testing, with the pundit naming a perhaps surprising name as one of his top teams.

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“I’ve got Red Bull, Ferrari and then Mercedes closely with Aston Martin but I can’t tell which of Aston Martin and Mercedes should be on top of each other.”

While Aston Martin’s inclusion as a potential top three team may come as a surprise to some, Sky Sports commentator David Croft was quick to agree with Kravitz, revealing that he and Anthony Davidson also had the team on a par with Mercedes.

Toto Wolff has admitted that the Silver Arrows are not where they would like to be just yet, with balance issues and a hydraulic problem hindering their pre-season.

George Russell has also reluctantly admitted that Mercedes may not become competitive until F1 returns to Europe and the W14 receives some minor upgrades.

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Aston Martin on the other hand have been flying during pre-season, with the team seeing a night and day different compared to the end of last season.

With Fernando Alonso and the currently injured Lance Stroll in the cars this season, Aston Martin will have set their sights on a number of podiums this season as the look to compete in the midfield.

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Kravitz’s list then continues to spring some surprises ah he continues down the grid, having faith in some of the smaller teams stepping up this year.

“I’m putting Alpine ahead of Haas, and then with McLaren and Alfa [Romeo] Sauber being very close together and the one I really can’t tell is Williams and AlphaTauri.”

While there are many conclusions that can be drawn from pre-season testing, nobody will truly be able to predict how teams will perform this season until the Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off the season next week.