Aston Martin, Alonso, Lance Stroll discussed on The Autosport Podcast


Alonso at Aston Martin emerged as the fastest driver in second practice for the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez. The session saw the top 13 drivers finish within a second of each other, with Charles Leclerc and Ferrari in fourth place. Hass driver Nico hulkenberg produced an impressive effort to finish. 5th, temperatures around 22° air temp track temp about 26° in the evening under the lights prompting several teams to head out on the soft tyres, Alpine Z Esteban ocon used the soft to go first, followed by Lance stroll of Aston Martin and I think the 27th lapid driven in that car and the first round of performance runs saw leclerc go first ahead of Carlos Sainz, Perez shot to the top of the time sheets before Alonso took over with a one minute 30.907, which would be unbeaten for the rest of the session. The drivers then did the typical late FP two long run data gathering exercise, after the session, the stewards got busy with investigating Nick de vries pulling out in front of Lando Norris in the pit lane. When Alonso's time followed an impressive performance from FP one, where he split the two Red Bulls despite attempts by Alonso and Aston Martin to downplay their impressive pace from testing, they are still strong. Aston had two cars in the top 6 with Lance stroll back in the car that's going to be a big talking point today and some concerns though about his mobility at one point when the team asked him to alter his line through turn one. He replied, I can't. Red Bull's pace on the long run simulations still appear to mark them out though as the team to be. The discuss, the action back on track and for the first time this year, as it's the first race of the season, editor, I've also sport dot com, Hayden Cobb. Welcome back to the podcast. Here we go again. What do you make of Aston Martin's true pace then? It's been very, very impressive. Yeah, like you said, there is the hype train that's growing and it's led by Fernando Alonso in terms of the spearhead for the team because of what Lance trials unfortunately been up to in the last couple of weeks. But the pace is there, the car looks looks a contender now. I will say I expect more to come from Red Bull fari and probably Mercedes come qualifying and the race when they sort of turn engines up and various strategy gets involved. But in terms of the pace of the car and its competitiveness, yeah, I would say we can confidently say that Aston Martin are going to be in the hunt. I would put them probably a little bit further back than say being first and. Fight for the win, but yeah, no, they've definitely been in the fight. And that is so exciting because for anyone to take the fight to Red Bull this year. Because coming out of testing, like everybody was saying, not just us and also sport dares make a wrong prediction. My goodness made that we find out about it. But team bosses, engineers, everyone in the paddock, we spoke to saying look, Red Bull's good. Red Bull are quick. So for anyone to be even close would be great. For Aston Martin to have made progress, that's great, especially for Fernando Alonso. He finally made a career move at the right time, criminal, but he hasn't won since, was it 2013 or something? His last race. Where he won. But how far ahead are they? From the midfield. That's what we just don't know. But if you look at that pack, Red Bull Ferrari Mercedes Aston Martin. People don't seem to be talking about Ferrari and Mercedes as much, this sort of quietly going about their plans, their runs, doing all that kind of stuff. Like all the hype is on Aston Martin. How did you read that battle with Red Bull Ferrari Mercedes today when we were looking at that the soft tyre pace? Red Bull have got pacing pacing hands. They traditionally have the engines turned down somewhat. I know other teams will, but they certainly since they've had that Honda package that's been the class of the field for a couple of years now. Yeah, they turn up the settings on come sort of Q two, Q three, qualifying. And they find three and four tenths. And not that I want to burst any bubbles, but I really wouldn't be that surprised if it's a rebel one two by a couple of tents in qualifying. I think they were trying a few sort of setup options over Friday practice, some which didn't quite work out Verstappen was sort of heard complaining over team radio that the feeling and the general car wasn't quite as good as it testing. He's probably them because of the limited testing time that they had. They were like, well, FP one isn't in representative conditions. It's effectively an hour test session. So why not give it a go and see what else we can find out about this car because they only had three days of pre season testing. And so therefore, I think when they revert back to sort of what we saw in in testing of what they know that works and what looked planted smooth and when you've spoken to Alex and other people that have been tracked side in Bahrain over the last couple of weeks they certainly say that's the class of the field. So I would fully expect them to sort of return to the top. Ferrari and Mercedes, again, they've sort of stuck to their own plans. For example, in FP one, neither of those teams even touched a soft tyre, obviously it just knowing that it's only really an account when the sun goes down because FB two is run at the same time of day as qualifying in the race. So when they did strap it on, they were granted a little bit of a step behind Red Bull and asked them on who did use the soft tyre in FP one. But I think again, still sort of largely sticking to their program, still figuring out their car. I would again still therefore put them a step behind Red Bull, but I'd expect them to be there and probably ahead of Aston Martin once again turn up the wick of their engines as well. Now let me ask you as the editor of auto

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