SEBASTIAN KAWKA /MERCEDES-BENZ GRAND PRIX LTD

The big F1 hitters’ chances of stopping Verstappen in 2023

It’s here! Formula 1’s only 2023 pre-season test kicks o˜ today (Thursday) in Bahrain and we’ll finally start to get an idea of which teams have made the most progress for the second year of this ground-e˜ects era.

Ferrari and Mercedes are the squads most likely to challenge the Red Bull operation that dominated 2022. They had very di˜erent types of launches earlier this month, with Ferrari exuding confidence and Mercedes already showing signs of not having made the step it needed following a disappointing campaign last year. Alex Kalinauckas compares the two legendary squads in our cover article starting on page 26, while technical editor Jake Boxall-Legge takes a look at the latest F1 machines from Mercedes (p12) and Alpine (p16).

Although it only finished seventh in the constructors’ table last year, Aston Martin could be one of the best-placed teams to start making inroads into the advantage held by F1’s three dominant teams. Luke Smith hears from Fernando Alonso and key Aston figures, and points out some significant strengths the squad now has on p36.

Australian Supercars gets its new rules this year. Andrew van Leeuwen is your guide to Gen3, which is arriving with its fair share of issues and controversies (p42). America’s premier tin-top series kicked o˜ with predictable chaos last weekend at Daytona, which produced another surprise winner (p46)…

Kevin Turner Chief Editor

kevin.turner@autosport.com

NEXT WEEK 2 MARCH

F1 2023 preview Our 108-page guide to the year ahead, plus F2/F3 and IndyCar previews

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Cover images Ferrari; Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd; Conor McDonnell/Aston Martin

PIT & PADDOCK

  • FIA clarifies driver clampdown
  • Kanaan to stand down a˜er Indy
  • BTCC driver market shake-up
  • Pescarolo name back with Peugeot
  • Mercedes W14 technical analysis
  • Caution at Mercedes launch
  • Alpine A523 technical analysis
  • Can Alpine challenge the big three?
  • Opinion: Alex Kalinauckas
  • Guest column: Andy Meyrick
  • Feedback: your letters

FEATURES

  • Ferrari vs Mercedes: race to beat Red Bull
  • Alonso’s Aston Martin gamble
  • Australian Supercars prepares for Gen3

RACE CENTRE

  • Stenhouse wins ridiculous Daytona 500
  • World of Sport: Asian Le Mans Series; Formula Regional Middle East

CLUB AUTOSPORT

  • Loggie to 2 Seas for Brit GT title defence
  • Turner to make return a˜er Hayes crash
  • Coates, Hammerton to Sprint Challenge
  • Huge interest in Clubsport Trophy
  • The rise of Esports in the UK

FINISHING STRAIGHT

  • What’s on this week
  • From the archive: 1934 French GP
  • My favourite team-mate: Franck Lagorce

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