Aston Martin Technical Director Dan Fallows has cooled talk of a Formula 1 win in 2023, saying the team are "realistic" about claiming victory on merit.
The Silverstone based squad have emerged as Red Bull's closest challengers this season, with Fernando Alonso taking four third place finishes from the opening five rounds, which have all been won by either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez.
Although the AMR23 is a big step forward for the team in allowing them to break into the so-called 'big three', the design is draggy meaning Alonso and Lance Stroll are at a disadvantage on conventional race tracks.
However, Alonso has targeted the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix as a race he could challenge for victory at given that track's unique characteristics.
And Aston Technical Director Dan Fallows says the team must be honest about their chances of defeating the RB19 on pure pace.
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Aston must be realistic
"I'd love to say that a win is possible this season, and there are obviously some circuits where it's not the normal run of play necessarily as sometimes cars have particular characteristics that can play out, for example in Monaco, track like that," Fallows told media including RacingNews365.
"But honestly, I think we are realistic about our situation and where we are at the moment.
"Our focus is really on just maximising the amount of performance we can get on the car in the shortest possible time - and we'll see what kind of reward that brings.
"We do need to consider where we are relative to the Red Bull.
"There are areas we believe where we're relatively strong but we also have yo optimise our car for every particular circuit.
"It means that sometimes there may be aspects of whether it is low speed, high speed corners, which aren't quite as strong as some other competitors.
"Red Bull as a concept has been evolved for a bit longer than ours - we obviously very publicly went to a different concept early last year so we are still developing that and we think we made a very big step this year.
"We still have a way to go, and I wouldn't want to point to one single area of it - we just need to improve everything."
Solid car but needs improvement
Aston Martin currently sit second in the Constructors' with 102 points from five races plus one sprint - and have almost doubled their haul of 55 from 2022.
Fallows believes one strength of the package is that it is good in a variety of areas.
"It's not necessarily that I think our car has particular strengths in some areas," he explained.
"We have managed to generate a car which is reasonably capable in a lot of different areas, so we can tune it to what we believe is the optimum for that particular track.
"There are certainly areas we are focused on from a aerodynamic and mechanical point of view that we think we can make progress in, but honestly I don't look at it as a car that has any significant weaknesses at the minute.
"We just want to kind of build on the speed that we have got, and keep going with the same philosophy."
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Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to ask if Mattia Binotto could really join Alpine, what Pirelli's new tyres are about and the latest on the Red Bull-Ford partnership!