The Bahrain Grand Prix marked the beginning of the 2023 Formula 1 season. A championship which, as the pre-season testing session had suggested, began under the sign of Red Bull, who once again dominated the qualifying session and most importantly the race, as was the case last year. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez went on to easily win the race.
But other information also emerged from Sakhir. The first is that Aston Martin is indeed very strong in this start of the season, so much so that Fernando Alonso, after leading the way in FP1 and FP2, managed to secured an unexpected podium finish at the Bahrain International Circuit, after overtaking both Mercedes cars and the SF-23 of Carlos Sainz on track. Mercedes and Ferrari, on the other hand, represent the defeated teams of the first weekend of the season, in particular the Maranello team, which left Sakhir with the disappointing outcome of a fourth place (Carlos Sainz) and a retirement (Charles Leclerc).
Gian Carlo Minardi, the founder and managing director of the now-defunct Minardi Formula One team, spoke of this and much more in the usual post-race analysis published on his official website.
Gian Carlo Minardi’s analysis
“The race gave us an absolutely incredible and elusive Red Bull that was able to win with a huge gap against the first of its opponents – Fernando Alonso with the Aston Martin – over 38 seconds, which became almost 50 against Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari”, underlines Gian Carlo Minardi in his analyses. He then added: “At the moment there is nothing for anyone to do. Although they already had a practically perfect car, Horner’s men managed to improve the car by almost a second”.
As we said earlier, Aston Martin is the real surprise of this early 2023 Formula One season. Thanks also to a Fernando Alonso who, at almost 42, still wants to fight and push to the max. In this regard, Gian Carlo Minardi states: “Nando made two incredible overtaking moves against Russell and, above all, Hamilton. Despite an attacking race, he got out of the car as fresh as Verstappen who was able to manage the race from start to end. He is an absolutely amazing driver and always has something extra. Right now his age is not seen and he doesn’t feel it. It is certainly a positive note for all of Formula 1. It unites three generations of drivers and creates nice suspense. It was great to watch him drive.”
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Gian Carlo Minardi also wanted to praise the other Aston Martin driver, Lance Stroll, who “raced in impaired physical conditions. He underwent an incredible tour-de-force and thanks to sixth place, Aston Martin is second in the constructors world championship”.
And so we arrive at the performance and result of Scuderia Ferrari: “The expected signs have not arrived, on the contrary. In addition to having gained little compared to last year over its direct rivals, the team has to deal with a not insignificant reliability problem”, says Minardi.
The season, however, is made up of another 22 races. It is still early to draw conclusions. “Without reliability, it becomes difficult to concentrate on developing the car – which also wears out the tires -, but we are only at the first race and we need to remain calm”, Gian Carlo Minardi added.
One final thought on the rest of the teams with a focus on Williams: “There back group was close and I’m pleased to see Williams already take a top 10 finish and the first point of the season with Albon. They’re still struggling in qualifying. but in the race they can defended themselves. They come from several difficult seasons, but this is a sign of encouragement and confidence.”