Mercedes weren’t the only team who ran into trouble at pre-season testing in Bahrain. Their customer team, Aston Martin, is in the same boat as them. Reliability issues struck them on all three days in Bahrain, especially Marquee driver, Sebastian Vettel. Their mileage was only second-worst to Mercedes.
On the other hand, their mid-field rivals made quite significant progress. McLaren, with their unique diffuser concept, are the early season favorites to retain their third place in the Constructors’ Standings.
So, F1 presenter, Will Buxton, believes the British outfit will begin the season-opener in Bahrain lagging behind its rivals. “They are on the back foot going into the season. It is not the sort of joyous entry to the year that they had been hoping for.”
On the subject of their mid-field rivals, Ferrari also came up with a much-improved engine, which will not only serve to benefit them, but also their customer team, Alfa Romeo. The Swiss outfit’s outing also looked positive and according to Buxton, they could well be challenging Aston Martin in the lower pantheons of the mid-field.
“Potentially, fighting with Alpine or maybe battling with Alfa Romeo. Of course, it’s too early to tell what’s really going on, but it wasn’t as good as a testing week that they had hoped for.”
Sebastian Vettel logged in just 117 laps, the fewest among the regular drivers. So, he feels that he isn’t in the position to judge the competitiveness of the AMR21.
“But I don’t think that’s too important, because we’ll find out in two weeks anyway, so everything from now onwards is nice for you, two weeks of speculation.”
Because of his testing struggles, we can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. But let’s hope that the German gets some decent laps under his belt during the practice session. And be up to speed once the heat of the battle begins with qualifying. Only then we will truly be able to gauge the competitive level of Aston Martin.