Alonso expects mistakes as “new” Aston Martin team joins fight at front

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso expects Aston Martin will make mistakes as the team begins to compete with Formula 1’s front-runners.

After heading the times on the first day of practice for the new season, Alonso said he wasn’t sure exactly how high the team might place in today’s qualifying session.

“To be honest, actually, I don’t know exactly what position will be a good one for us,” he said. “After testing, we were thinking to be in Q3 with both cars and score as many points as possible in these first couple of races, try not to make mistakes.”

Aston Martin finished seventh in the constructors championship last year and never got a car home in the top five. Alonso, who has won 32 grands prix, says the pressure of fighting at the front is different, and the team may slip up as it adjusts to a higher standard of competition.

“It’s very easy to make a mistake,” he said. “It’s not the same fighting for P12, P14 than fighting for top five positions because the pressure is different, the adrenaline is different.

“There are a lot of things that we as a team, we have to grow together in this process. So I expect that we will unfortunately make some mistakes. I may maybe make some mistakes.”

Alexander Albon, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix practice in pictures
Alonso isn’t convinced Aston Martin is ready to compete with the likes of Red Bull for a world championship.

“It’s a completely new team, new procedures, the team as well,” he said. “So we have to be with feet on the ground. The target has to be fighting for the championship, but in the long-term, I don’t think in this year yet.”

However he believes they are taking the right steps to become a serious force in F1. “I think we have to be proud of the step that we have done.

“It has been a very intense two or three months work in the factory. We spent endless hours in the simulator, in the meetings and tried to anticipate what problems we could face in this first couple of races.

“The knowledge that this team has, the talent that this team has is probably unprecedented, the group of people we have. So that’s something that is very encouraging for the future.”

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2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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