Horner “flattered” by Aston Martin’s similarity to Red Bull · RaceFans

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it was “good to see the old car going so well” after Aston Martin emerged as the closest rival to his team in the season-opening race.

Max Verstappen led Sergio Perez in a dominant one-two for Red Bull yesterday. Fernando Alonso took third for Aston Martin, delivering on the potential the team had shown in pre-season testing and practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Aston Martin’s automotive division was previously a title sponsor of Red Bull, before the brand acquired its own Formula 1 team. Last year former Red Bull designer Dan Fallows joined Aston Martin’s F1 operation. At the Spanish Grand Prix the team revealed an updated design with outward similarities to Red Bull’s 2022 car, though the team said work on it began before the RB18 appeared.

Aston Martin’s new AMR23 also resembles Red Bull’s car. The team has made a larger step forward than any of its rivals over the last 12 months, cutting almost two-and-a-half seconds off its lap time in Bahrain.

Interactive: Compare all 10 F1 cars of 2023 side-by-side

Asked yesterday whether Aston Martin’s leap forward made him regret the loss of Fallows, Horner said: “No, because I think we have a wonderful team and everything has to evolve. Nothing stands still.”

“I think that it’s flattering to see the resemblance of that car to ours,” he added. “So it was great to see the three of them on the podium.”

Aston Martin’s progress “demonstrates to all the teams that it’s possible,” said Horner. “They’ve obviously done a good job over the winter.

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“They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery and it’s good to see the old car going so well.”

Perez also referred to the similarity between the two teams’ cars during the post-race press conference, saying it was “nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium”.

When a journalist addressed a question to “Fernando and the Red Bull drivers” Perez interjected to quip: “We are all Red Bull drivers.”

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack declined to respond to Perez’s comments. “We always decided we will not go into any war of words,” he said. “So we’ll leave it there.”

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