Helmut Marko aimed a dig at Aston Martin following the Bahrain Grand Prix, stating that it was good to see three Red Bulls on the podium at the 2023 Formula 1 season opener under the lights.
Aston Martin were the surprise package of testing and confirmed their pace when Fernando Alonso battled back from a poor start in Bahrain to secure the 99th top-three finish of his Formula 1 career.
The iconic British team’s upturn in form has been credited to renowned designer Dan Fallows, the former Red Bull employee who left midway through the 2021 campaign for a new challenge.
Following six months on gardening leave, he started life as the Aston Martin technical director and has overseen a change of concept to one that bears a striking resemblance to that of the Red Bull.
“It’s true, what Fallows had in his head cannot be erased,” Marko told Servus TV. “Copying the focus is not prohibited, but can you copy in such detail without having documentation of our car?
“Today we had three Red Bulls on the podium, only the last one with a different engine!”
Marko‘s comments echo those of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who said: “I think it is flattering to see the resemblance of that car to ours so it was great to see the three of them on the podium.”
Marko praises ageless Alonso
Although Max Verstappen won the Bahrain GP at a canter, Alonso took the majority of the plaudits for fighting back from a poor start to pass both Mercedes cars and win out in the battle of the Spaniards with Carlos Sainz to clinch the final podium place.
Despite being 41, Alonso is still considered one of the best drivers on the grid and Marko heaped praise on the Aston Martin man, who appears to have pulled off a masterstroke in leaving Alpine for the Silverstone-based outfit.
“I said it before the race, Alonso will be third,” Marko added. “His fight with [Lewis] Hamilton was unbelievable.
“It was a tough duel, but fair. Really old school. If Fernando had started later, it surely would have been a threat to us.
“With Alonso, age does not seem to matter. He is in the best form of his entire life.”