Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2023

Aston Martin slipped to fifth-fastest team in Hungary – Alonso

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin’s ninth and tenth place finishes in the Hungarian Grand Prix reflected their performance level accurately.

Having started eighth, Alonso dropped one place during the race to cross the line in ninth, just under five seconds behind Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari. His team mate Lance Stroll was one place behind him in tenth, the last car to be lapped by race winner Max Verstappen.

“I think we were not quick enough to challenge anyone in front and we didn’t have any threats behind,” Alonso told media including RaceFans after the race. “So three points, ninth and tenth [was] the maximum today.”

Only five teams scored points in the race, all of which had both their cars in the top ten positions. Aston Martin were the last of the five points scoring teams, which Alonso believes was a fair verdict on their performance.

“Today ninth is probably our pace – so behind the Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, which is more or less what we saw in qualifying and what we saw in the race,” he said.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Hungaroring, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix in pictures
Aston Martin thought they would perform better at the Hungaroring before the weekend began, Alonso admitted.

“In Silverstone we did expect to struggle a little bit, but in Budapest we thought we would be a little bit stronger. It was not the case, so we’ll try to analyse and get back stronger in Spa next week.”

The last month has seen the order towards the front of the field shift with McLaren jumping from the midfield to become podium contenders. Alonso says Aston Martin need to respond in the car development race to match their rivals who have made steps forward in recent rounds.

“Every race we would love to understand and we all have many questions but we never know exactly what is the cause of it,” he said.

“In Austria, Hulkenberg and Haas were fourth in qualifying so we were all surprised. In Silverstone, Williams were very fast – we were all surprised. Here, Alfa Romeo was very fast – we were all surprised.

“But then in the race, normally everything balances out and the big teams finish in front. We are just in the back end of those top teams, so we need to get back to the front end of that group.”

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2023 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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10 comments on “Aston Martin slipped to fifth-fastest team in Hungary – Alonso”

  1. Alonso’s Aston Martin fairy tale run of podiums has ended, they are back to reality after others doing upgrade.

    1. Indeed. But others have shown, that all midfield teams are only 1 major successful upgrade away from being competetive at the top behind RedBull. I hope Aston Martin has one brewing…

  2. They are roughly at the same level Vettel left them already.
    That was fast.

    Alonso proved he still has it in him, but now it’s time to face reality. This is not a top team, never was.

    Lower end of the top 10 is where they belong.

    1. Really curious how aston martin evolves, because lawrence stroll is adamant that in everything he does he wins, and he’s indeed a successful businessman, but being championship contenders in f1 isn’t easy, even if you have money, as ferrari proved in the pre-budget cap era.

  3. Now that Dan Fallows can’t copy Adrian Newey anymore, it’s over and done with for Aston. The guy can’t develop a car by himself.

  4. I disagree with the nay sayers who have inevitably commented negatively about Aston Martin and ultimately Alonso’s contribution to their 3rd place in the standings today. What these people need to understand is that Aston Martin are in much better situation than they were at the end of last season approaching 9 months ago, and that has been due to better personnel being brought in to develop and drive the current AMR23 respectively, compared to last years AMR22. The baseline aero-mechanical performance of the AMR23 was on average 3.57 during the first 7 races within 3 months, until we got to Spain on 4th June. Since then, it is now on average finishing the last 4 races on average 5.75, with Alonso’s contribution alone. If Stroll decides to raise his own performances from 11.55 from his past 11 races until today, from next weekend until late November, the team will inevitably improve their own developmental and strategical approach to race weekends, which has been dubious since the Monaco GP, where tyre selection caused Alonso not to challenge for the win, and in Canada, where the pit wall decided that Alonso should lift and coast, rather than attack Verstappen for the win, which later proved to be a red herring days later.
    Vettel achieved an average finishing position for the entire 2022 season on 10.95, and Stroll was practically the same, so lets not be ignorant and comment about how this years achievement is the same as last years. The evidence proves otherwise.

    1. Yeah, I think I mostly agree there Eric. The team did build up a lot of stuff with their investments into a bigger team and better facilities, but most of them are only now starting to get some use, so it would not have influenced this years car much and only now might start to impact on improving the car during the season.

      They did a great job with the car over the winter and did a very good job with Alonso to capitalise on that when they had the opportunity. Stroll – well that accident surely did not help him build up, apart from being a rung lower than the likes of Alonso for pace anyway, that will have hurt them a bit too. On form he’s shown in the past that he can do a solid job with a good car (second half of last year and when the car was solid as FI’s pink Mercedes)

  5. Finally some understanding from at least one team member (the other top guys in Aston seem to be in a happy place). They lost to Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren in points. In Spa, they should be outside the top 10 if both Alpine drivers finish their race.
    McLaren got 25 points more than Aston in this race, and 24 points more in Silverstone. At this rate, McLaren will get Aston in four or five races. It will take about 3 races for Ferrari to get higher than Aston.

    Aston Martin should forget about this season as they have no chance to get higher or lower than top 5.

  6. How much of the change to teams performance can be attributed to Pirelli changing to a harder compound from silverstone onwards?

    1. I don’t think that factors in much. They came out with a great car at the start of the season, but from about Spain onward others have caught up with their in season development and Aston did not manage to keep up themselves @emu55.

      Sure, it is quite possible these compounts don’t suit them much and that hurts them too, but the issue really is that they badly need a step with their car to get back in the mix between Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren.

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