Ted Kravitz suggests Fernando Alonso will beat Lewis Hamilton in 2023

Aston Martin have been the team on everyone’s lips in pre-season, looking lightyears ahead of where they ended last season.

Pre-season testing results should always be taken with a pinch of salt, as different run plans, fuel loads and tyre compounds lead to all sorts of varied lap times.

It is almost impossible to ignore the progress of Aston Martin however, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Drugovich, with the latter standing in for the injured Lance Stroll, being able to keep pace with the top teams.

Aston Martin have struggled to seventh-place finishes in both of their seasons so far in F1 but the addition of staff from top teams and the financial backing of Lawrence Stroll looks set to finally pay dividends this year.

The data from pre-season suggests that Aston Martin could be genuine podium challengers this year, with some even believing that the team could pick up their first race win this year.

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Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz has now made a bold predication about the team’s chances this year, claiming that they could breach the top three of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

“I’m going to be slightly reticent and say that Aston Martin are third and Mercedes are fourth at the moment,” he said when asked for his team rankings ahead of the season opener in Bahrain this week.

Aston Martin’s successful pre-season will delight the team, especially knowing that they managed to do all of their testing without Lance Stroll, who is hoping to return to the team ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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Should the Canadian not recover in time for the season opener, Aston Martin have confirmed that Felipe Drugovic will continue in the AMR23, despite rumours that Sebastian Vettel could make a shock return to F1 on a temporary basis.

Kravitz’s prediction will come as a concern to Mercedes, who will not want to take another step back this season to finish in fourth.

The Silver Arrows endured a torrid time under the new regulations last season and while the W14 appears to have left any porpoising issues in the past, the car still lacks the performance of Ferrari and Red Bull.