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F1 midfield ANALYSED: Can anyone beat Alpine for best of the rest?

F1 midfield ANALYSED: Can anyone beat Alpine for best of the rest?

F1 News

F1 midfield ANALYSED: Can anyone beat Alpine for best of the rest?

F1 midfield ANALYSED: Can anyone beat Alpine for best of the rest?
Jack Walker

An ever-intriguing sub-plot of Formula 1, the fight for P4 in the Constructors’ championship promises to be more hotly contested than ever before in 2023.

Alpine and McLaren fought it out to be ‘best of the rest’ in 2022, with the French team coming out on top by just 14 points and are expected to do so again if their development plan is a success.

More teams are expected to challenge strongly in the midfield this year, though, so who are they, what can they achieve, and who can challenge for podiums?

Podium challengers


Last year’s P4 finish was a significant step forward for a team who have struggled to find any sort of progress for a number of years. Claims toward the end of 2022 were that they are “significantly up” with their development for this year as a result of an aggressive update programme, so there is every chance that the reputation of being ‘best of the rest’ will continue.

READ MORE: Zinedine Zidane signs for Alpine in launch shocker

Their highly-anticipated brand-new A523 is revealed later on Thursday and it will be interesting to see if any philosophies have been embraced from the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. Mercedes, for example, appear to have adopted Ferrari’s triangular-ended front wing.

Esteban Ocon and newcomer Pierre Gasly, who joins from AlphaTauri, are widely regarded as two of the best drivers in cars outside of the top three and should put on a real show. There is a bit of history there, though, with the pair colliding multiple times during their F1 careers. If there is a case of déjà vu, other teams in this list will be looking to pounce.


With the youngest diver line up on the grid after the arrival of Oscar Piastri, CEO Zak Brown has put full faith in nurturing young talent as McLaren look to return to former glory. Piastri won F3 and F2 in back-to-back years before having a year on the sidelines as Alpine’s reserve driver last year, so definitely knows how to run at the front of a grand prix, as does his team-mate, Lando Norris.

The Brit was oh so close to claiming his maiden F1 win at Sochi in 2021 before the rain came and a pit strategy error, so watch out for him if McLaren can get closer to the big boys again.

Fighting for P4

Aston Martin

A P7 finish in each of the last two years isn’t what the famous British team were expecting when they finally returned to Formula 1, but are largely confident of being able to overtake their rivals. Having lost one multiple world champion to retirement at the end of last year, Aston have signed another in the form of Fernando Alonso, whose decision to quit Alpine raised a few eyebrows.

Having taken inspiration from Red Bull’s incredible RB18, the AMR-23 is expected to suffer from much less drag than its predecessor. New factory in May correlated with improved performance in 2022.

Alfa Romeo

Entering their final year running before reverting back to Sauber ahead of the partnership with Audi, the Alfa Romeo brand will want to leave the sport on a high note. After a respectable P6 finish last year, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu are a pairing who are capable of impressive drives and working together to deliver strong results for the team. The sense of unity in the garage is a huge plus for them in their quest to move up the order.

Seeking improvement


It’s been a long time since Haas were running P5 and P6 in Australia before pit-stop disaster in 2018. Back then, the American team were fresh on the block and looking to take the fight to the established elite, but a lack of funding and multiple driver errors year on year has seen them fall towards the back of the grid.

With only Williams almost certainly behind them at the start of the year, it would be an incredible achievement is Haas can rediscover the form shown a few years ago but it may be a step too far.

READ MORE: Remembering Benetton's infamous 1996 car launch

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