Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin are now racing “in the Champions League” as they head into the second half of the 2023 season.
Alonso reached the podium six times over the opening eight rounds but Aston Martin have fallen behind rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and even McLaren in recent races. He says the target for the second half of the season is to recover some of that competitiveness.
“It was unexpected, in a way, how competitive the team was from the first race,” Alonso said. “We found ourselves in a very strong position, so we maximised every opportunity in the first few races.
“In the last few events, we were maybe not as competitive as the first part of the year, but we still scored points in every single weekend. Now in the second part of the year, I think we want to go back to a more competitive position. I think everything is so tight now behind Red Bull with Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren – so we want to be in that fight until Abu Dhabi. And that’s the aim.”
Alonso says Aston Martin are facing their greatest ever challenge as a team being in contention at the sharp end of the grid and now find themselves fighting against the very best.
“I think it was a surprise for us that the car was fast, but I think the team was outstanding over the winter, understanding what the problems were last year,” he said. “I think reliability, strategy – everything – we did things really good in most of the races to get those results.
“It’s not only the pace of the car, you need to master everything in the weekend from free practice one until Sunday. I think we are like playing in the Champions League at the moment and we are finding ourselves with the very top teams, trying to develop as well as off track. This is going to be the biggest challenge for Aston Martin now.”
Aston Martin will introduce more new parts for their car this weekend at Zandvoort. Asked what he hopes will be the impact from his team’s latest upgrades, Alonso said his team hope to “get a clear direction” on their future development path.
“Not only for this year but also for next year, in terms of direction on the car,” he explained.
“I think in Canada we brought some some new parts, as well as Silverstone, and now these new aerodynamic parts that we bring here, hopefully are performing as we expect.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2023 Dutch Grand Prix
- Azerbaijan GP defeat was key to record-equalling run of wins – Verstappen
- “Too early to say” if podium signals return to form for Aston Martin – Alonso
- Verstappen makes history with unbeaten hat-track in first home races
- Perez is ‘doing his job and will be our driver in 2024’, Horner insists
- Ferrari had the “sixth or seventh fastest car” at Zandvoort – Sainz