Sainz says Aston Martin will be “in the mix” but Alonso doubts podium possible · RaceFans

Carlos Sainz Jnr he believes Aston Martin will be “in the mix” at the front of the field this weekend during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Aston Martin finished sixth in the constructors’ championship last season but enjoyed a strong three day test in Bahrain last week with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Drugovich, who stepped in for the injured Lance Stroll. When asked if he expected Aston Martin to be genuine contenders at the front this weekend, Sainz told media including RaceFans “yes we do.”

“Mainly because it’s already been since December that everyone hears the rumours that Aston Martin is going to be quicker this year,” Sainz explained. “We all know their numbers were very good in the wind tunnel, in the simulator. They were, I think, even struggling to hide the excitement of what they were seeing.

“So arriving in Bahrain, it kind of confirmed that they are in the mix again with us. And I think it’s great news for Formula 1, good news for obviously Fernando. Excited to have one more team in the battle this year.”

However Alonso, who will make his debut with Aston Martin this weekend, is more cautious about his new team’s chances of being in the fight for a podium position in Bahrain.

“We will give our best in the race, but that’s not the target for us, to be honest,” Alonso said. “I think we need to keep learning about the car. Only one day-and-a-half or two days of testing in a completely new car, new package.

“I think the top three teams, they were in another league last year. They were lapping sometimes even the fourth team and basically only seven cars finished on the same lap. So we cannot make that kind of a step only in one winter.

“We are very happy with the car, but I think we have to have the feet on the ground and keep working on this good baseline.”

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2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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