“Difficult” to overtake Perez for second in championship – Alonso

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso is more focused on beating Lewis Hamilton in the championship than catching Sergio Perez.

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In brief

“Difficult” to overtake Perez in championship – Alonso

Aston Martin driver Alonso says it is going to be a challenge for him to beat Perez to second in the drivers’ championship.

Alonso sits third in the standings, 33 points behind the Red Bull driver and 12 ahead of Hamilton. After if he still felt he could challenge for second by the end of the year, Alonso admitted “it’s difficult.”

“Let’s see race-by-race,” Alonso continued. “But I think 33 points behind Checo is a big gap – especially because they start every weekend aiming for first and second, so it’s not that they are dropping performance or we are getting closer or things that maybe can put you in a place to fight.

“Our aim is more in the constructors championship, try to score points with both cars. Hopefully keep Ferrari behind, because I think they are getting stronger and stronger. And then in the drivers’ championship, to be honest, I’m a little bit more focused on Lewis than Checo.”

Stroll spoke to Ricciardo about hand injury

Lance Stroll, who was treated for broken wrists by Spanish traumatology specialist Dr Xavier Mir before the start of the season, passed on his encouragement to Daniel Ricciardo after the AlphaTauri driver broke his hand last week.

Ricciardo broke a metacarpal in his left hand in a practice crash last weekend at Zandvoort and will miss this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“We had a quick chat, poor guy,” Stroll told media including RaceFans. “It’s not fun – I’ve been in his shoes. It’s just a mental game now. It takes the time it takes, unfortunately. But wishing him all the best, for sure. He’s in very good hands. He’s with the right guy.”

Asked how long he thought Ricciardo may be out of action for, Stroll said that it “depends what his fracture is.”

“Not exactly sure. If it’s a clean break, if it’s what the surgeon and what Dr Mir can do with his fixation, I don’t know. It depends a lot on the type of fracture.”

Ganassi signs Lundqvist for 2024 and beyond

Chip Ganassi Racing has announced Linus Lundqvist will take Marcus Ericsson’s seat at the team when he departs for Andretti at the end of the season.

The 24-year-old IndyLights (now Indy Nxt) champion from 2022 has competed in three IndyCar races this season at Meyer Shank in place of Simon Pagenaud, recording a best finish of 12th in the second Indianapolis road course race.

“Stepping up to race full time in the IndyCar series and to do so with one of the most successful teams in the history of the championship, is the moment I’ve been working for throughout my career,” said Lundqvist. “It is hard to explain how much this means to me. I am incredibly grateful to Chip, Mike [Hull, managing director] and to everyone who has backed me on this journey, including, of course, my family.”

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Comment of the day

After the latest RaceFans Round Table looked at drivers we’d like to see get a shot in F1, here’s Fihar’s view…

Felipe Drugovich is an easy pick, considering how he dominated F2 in a midfield team, single-handedly delivering MP their first team championship in the process, even if he’s up against an admittedly underachieving field. It’s difficult to see him getting in that Aston Martin as long as Lance Stroll is there, though.

I don’t see Fernando Alonso as a long-term solution given his age, but I doubt the team would be willing to run both Lance and Drugovich. They would want someone capable of leading the team to greater heights after all.

Out of all the current Formula E drivers though, I’d go for Mitch Evans over Antonio Felix da Costa. His partnership with Jaguar as they rose to the sharp end of the field is the stuff of fairytale, and to me, he’s been the standout driver over the last three or four seasons. At one point, it looked like that Mark Webber’s guidance could very well take Evans to F1, but I kinda understand why he was overlooked given his so-so results in GP2.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris Sz, Meander, Glaszwiebel and Erzen!

On this day in motorsport

  • 60 years ago today Jack Brabham won a non-championship grand prix at Zeltweg, which one year later held Austria’s first world championship race

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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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6 comments on ““Difficult” to overtake Perez for second in championship – Alonso”

  1. In those days Berine used to pay cash for the victory and so I got his envelope full of cash

    Interesting, does this open another can of worms, sounds like someone is/was dodging tax or getting around budget caps, I wonder if this sort of thing still happens?

    1. Interesting, does this open another can of worms, sounds like someone is/was dodging tax

      Bernie, tax dodging? Does anyone have any evidence? —- oh, apparently HMRC do.

    2. Coventry Climax
      1st September 2023, 12:00

      Getting around budget caps would have been hard to do in 2004, as -to my knowledge- there were none.

  2. I agree with alonso, was already thinking several races ago, when perez was massively underperforming in quali that it was gonna be difficult to overhaul him because there’s too many cars in fight for 2nd best every race, while perez has a consistently stronger car than anyone else but verstappen, so even when he has a bad race it’s hard to gain a lot of points, it would take a disaster ending of the season for perez to lose 2nd place.

  3. More like next to impossible.

  4. Coventry Climax
    1st September 2023, 12:20

    To gain second may be difficult, but to lose second might be another matter?
    With the battle for being the second fastest team as intense as it is, and maybe even intensifying still, Perez may have an increasingly difficult time finishing in the points even. Especially given his current poor performances, the increasing pressure those put on him, and not having a record of handling pressure well.
    Two second places versus none for Perez make up for a 36 points difference already.
    Ofcourse it would indeed need consistent second places for one of the teams, but that might still happen.
    I agree with Alonso in that it’s difficult. But not impossible or unthinkable.

    And then, even if Perez ends up second, he’ll have to do so with a quite convincing performance over the rest of the season. If he manages to only just hold on, he may finish second alright, but likely without a seat for next season nonetheless.

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