Aston Martin, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023

Alonso believes he can finally win again after debut podium for Aston Martin

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Aston Martin’s competitive start to the new Formula 1 season has given Fernando Alonso the belief he can score his first win for 10 years.

The two-times world champion hasn’t won a race since the Spanish Grand Prix in 2013. But after finishing third in yesterday’s season-opener, Alonso believes a victory is a realistic possibility this year.

“When you are P3 in race one there are 22 opportunities this season,” said Alonso after yesterday’s race. “Even last year, I remember in Canada, wet qualifying, we were in the first row of the grid.

“Anything can happen in 22 races with different conditions. I will try my best to have the opportunity.”

Red Bull dominated the opening round of the championship, Verstappen winning with a 38-second margin over Alonso. The Aston Martin driver admitted they may need the cards to fall in their favour to win a race given Red Bull’s speed.

“Maybe we need some help,” he said. “Last year, we needed some help from the top teams just to get the podium. Maybe this year, if there is this help or there is some retirements in front of us or some problems maybe it’s more than a podium. So let’s hope for that.”

Despite leading two practice sessions last weekend, Alonso admitted he had been hesitant to believe in the potential of Aston Martin’s car following his move to the team which finished seventh in last year’s world championship.

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“I have the same feeling from testing, like, it’s too good to be true,” he said. “You’re always expecting that something you will get a step back and you will get back to reality.

Race start, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023
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“But it seems real, the performance. Let’s see in Jeddah. I am curious to go to Jeddah and Australia. Very different circuits: high-speed corners, very little degradation.

“In Bahrain, we were strong in things that maybe we don’t find in Jeddah, and Australia. So, if we are strong in the next two races, I think we will have a very good 2023.”

However Alonso pointed out he could have finished closer to Verstappen had he not lost time behind Carlos Sainz Jnr, Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Valtteri Bottas earlier in the race.

“Obviously we lost time in the first stint,” he said. “I just sat behind the Mercedes. In the middle stint I have to pass George and Valtteri. And then on the final stint I had to pass Lewis and Carlos.

“So all in all, I’m sure that you lose 10 or 15 seconds on all those battles. So if we are 40 seconds behind the leader, we could have been maybe 20 seconds, or 30 seconds. So not a real fight, yet, to Red Bull.”

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2023 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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...

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11 comments on “Alonso believes he can finally win again after debut podium for Aston Martin”

  1. He’s got a shot at a win this season. Any high deg circuits with surprise safety car periods should give him an opportunity. On pure merit I can’t see any team taking a win off Red bull.. But on high deg circuits, with a little luck (safety car or red bull mechanical issues), Alonso could get a win this season.

    If Aston can develop the car at pace with Mercedes and Ferrari this season, Alonso could be fighting for P3 in the WCC.

    1. The traction of the AM looks good, car could challenge for victory at Monaco, Hungary, Singapore, etc.

    2. @todfod – I did think of you briefly when watching Nando perform some delicious moves on Sunday. I actually want both Hamilton and Nando in similar performing cars to see more great driving, they drag it out of each other and both are respectful.

      But I am also conscious to see him go up against Max just to see how they will “treat” each other. But hopefully it can happen at some point.

      1. @icarby

        Alonso fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about in a decade… And after seeing that rock bottom stint from 2015 to 2018..its so ecstatic to see him just fighting among the top 5 again.

        He honestly seems so energised, that I know he’ll be the most exciting driver to watch this season. As you mentioned, Alonso vs Hamilton in relatively equal cars is something we’ve all waited a decade for. I think they’ll both be motivated to beat each other on track.. And the fans are going to enjoy it this season.

        1. He looks 10 years younger this year, too! I’m so happy to see him happy! @todfod

  2. He’ll need Lance to hit Max on the first lap, and not him…
    The green car won’t leave everyone in its dust, but he’ll be thereabouts along with Charles and Checo to pick up any pieces that are on offer. Looking forward to him and Leclerc wheel to wheel, if that happens, by the way.

    1. He’ll need Lance to hit Max on the first lap, and not him…

      Someone hand Lance Nelsinho’s number.

      He is, after all, the world’s preeminent expert in getting Fred a “win” in an otherwise uncompetitive car.

  3. Fred could have been lapped by Max yesterday. That’s how far behind they are in pace.

    Which means that any realistic chance for victory depends on both Red Bulls running into issues.

  4. I believe Fred still had life left in his tires by the time of his second pitstop. I would have waited for a lucky SC. Anything can happen

  5. His best chance will probably be a scenario where Lewis and Max meet each other on track during a pit stop phase…

  6. Imho if this car is as good as it seems and alonso rings all the performance out of it as he has been doing for years he could be fighting for the title. The guy is a beast! one of the goats surley.

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