Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Alonso expects strong race pace but wary of “very fast” Verstappen

2023 Miami Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso expects Aston Martin’s usual pattern of being stronger in the race than qualifying sessions will continue in Miami, after taking second on the grid for today’s race.

However Alonso, who will share the front row of the grid with pole-winner Sergio Perez, expects the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen will catch him quickly.

Alonso said qualifying in second place, despite doing his only Q3 run on a used set of soft tyres, gave him “a lot” of confidence that they will be more competitive in the race.

“Sunday is our day, normally,” he said. “I think the car takes care of the tyres normally very [well], we have very good race pace [but] we struggle a little bit on Saturday. So, when we start higher up normally things are a little bit easier.

“But we have a strong opposition behind. Ferrari has been very strong this weekend, and in Baku, some upgrades also on their car. Max obviously will come, eventually in the race, quite fast. So a lot of things to take care of in the mirrors.”

He said Aston Martin must capitalise on the opportunity to out-score Mercedes, whose cars will start six and 13th, and who are closest to them in the constructors’ championship.

“We will do our race, we will score as many points as possible. Our main competitors, Mercedes, they had a difficult weekend so far, so we need to keep out-scoring them.”

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But despite finishing the first three races on the podium, Alonso isn’t convinced that his front row start means a straightforward run to another rostrum finish.

“I don’t think that we have to target a win, especially after how the weekend went,” he said. “I think even the podium is going to be difficult.

“But we’ll do our race. We’ve been doing this the whole season, we are in a privileged position, we never expected to be here.

“So every lap we do, every race lap that we will do tomorrow in these kind of positions is a gift at the moment. I think the team is enjoying it.

“We will try to pass Checo into turn one, because we love to lead the race, at least for a few laps. And after that we will end up in the position we deserve.

“If it’s P5, it’s going to be P5. If it’s P7, P7. If it’s another podium it will be fantastic. But I think it’s going to be a tough race.”

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2023 Miami 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...

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2 comments on “Alonso expects strong race pace but wary of “very fast” Verstappen”

  1. I’m cynical. I expect the race to feature too much SC and red flags to enjoy the battles

    1. Well, back to the armchair you

Comments are closed.