Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Zandvoort, 2023

Aston Martin are “playing in the Champions League” now – Alonso

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin are now racing “in the Champions League” as they head into the second half of the 2023 season.

Aston Martin currently sit third in the constructors’ championship with ten rounds of the season remaining. Alonso is third in the drivers’ standings behind the two Red Bull drivers.

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.”

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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...

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5 comments on “Aston Martin are “playing in the Champions League” now – Alonso”

  1. Vettel would have made this a better fight rather than Stroll in the other car. I wonder how much talk does his father do to him about his performances.

  2. “Are” or “Were”, Fred?

  3. Don’t champions win? Not even in Saudi Arabia was Alonso a genuine threat to Red Bull.

    The team that is now Aston Martin has tended to hover around places 4-6 in the WCC for a long time. This is one of their better years so far, and that’s totally fair. They did a better job than most other teams. Their podiums were well deserved. However, the gap to the winners is still huge. If anything, Mercedes and Ferrari have dropped into the midfield.

    1. Actually, rather than saudi, canada was, from what I saw, the closest they got, with alonso gaining on verstappen till he was 4 sec behind, before he had to go into management mode.

  4. Erm, we’ll see if this statement is true.

    I firmly believe that Aston Martin is going to fight Alpine to get into top 10. They bring pointless upgrades or no upgrades at all, race after race. If McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari don’t make huge mistakes, they will be finishing in front of Astons forever.

    See you next season, Alonso.

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