Whether they downplay it or not, Aston Martin has emerged as one of the front-running contenders in 2023.
The team worked wonders over the winter break to produce a car that is one of the quickest over the course of a lap, with Fernando Alonso finishing on the podium in the first two races to equal the team's record in 2021 with Sebastian Vettel.
With the team outclassing both Ferrari and Mercedes so far, is there a chance they could catch Red Bull over the course of the season? Team Principal Mike Krack believes it would be tough, even if they were not developing their car.
"I think it will be very, very hard to close such a gap, even if they were standing still," he told the F1 Nation podcast.
"But we're not too preoccupied about this gap to be honest with you, we have decided that we really need to look at ourselves and try to improve our car and then we'll see where we are."
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Krack: You get obsessed by the gap
Krack has warned that the team should not be too obsessed with closing the gap to Red Bull, given the team might think they have made a step forward but the opposition team might also have problems that weekend.
"It was the same last year, you get obsessed by the gap, then sometimes you are a bit closer because someone has an issue, then the next time you're a bit more further away again because you have one," he explains.
"So this is all very relative, you know the strength of one car versus the strength of another one."
Much has been said about knowing the true pecking order because of the contrasting circuits that F1 has visited in the first two races.
Krack highlights that the team will need to take "samples" of circuits, before they can know who they need to catch up to over the course of the season.
He continued: "You need to pick a couple of of samples different racetracks to really know where you are in terms of gap to the to the car in front.
"Then it doesn't really matter if it's a second or a half[-second] if you have to work hard to close it."