Red Bull Racing’s domination in the first two races of the 2023 Formula One season may soon face a major challenge from Aston Martin, according to Anthony Davidson, a former F1 driver. Despite Red Bull’s budget cap penalty, they have won both races so far with Max Verstappen driving their RB19 car. However, Davidson thinks that Red Bull has not yet experienced the penalty’s effects, and Aston Martin could narrow the gap soon.
The penalty was imposed on Red Bull for breaching the cost cap in 2021, which puts them in a deficit in the aerodynamic test restrictions scale as they are the reigning World Champions. The penalty was further reduced by 10 percent.
Davidson highlighted that Aston Martin has a considerable advantage in wind tunnel usage as they are not facing any penalties, which could help them catch up. “Red Bull is mostly concerned about this – the handbrake is coming on with their development,” he said.
He also noted that Aston Martin’s speed has improved significantly, going two seconds per lap faster than last year. If they can find another second by halfway through the year, they could be on par with Red Bull.
Red Bull has scored 87 out of a maximum of 88 points, securing back-to-back 1-2 results, putting them 49 points ahead of Aston Martin. However, with the penalty’s impact yet to be fully felt, the gap between the two teams may soon close.
As the season progresses, it will be intriguing to see whether Red Bull can maintain their edge over the competition, particularly as they face this new obstacle. The next race on the calendar is the Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 16-18, which could give us a better indication of which teams are currently leading the pack.