Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Singapore, 2023

Point-less Aston Martin “expected a strong weekend in Singapore” – Alonso

Formula 1

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Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin fell short of their expectations in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The two-times world champion finished 15th after losing 25 seconds with a slow pit stop, which dropped him out of the points with 17 laps remaining.

Part of the time loss was due to Alonso serving a five-second penalty for crossing the line at pit entry. However he lost more time when the team’s rear jack failed to engage properly.

Considering Aston Martin’s strong form at street tracks earlier this year – having finished on the podium at each of them before Singapore – the team hoped for a strong performance on Sunday. But several factors left them out of the points.

“I think we all expected a strong weekend in Singapore, it was not the case,” said Alonso, whose team mate Lance Stroll did not race after suffering a heavy crash in qualifying.

“We didn’t have the pace that we were hoping for. Too many things [went wrong]: a mistake going into the pit lane, a sloppy stop, traffic all in one race. So a race to forget.”

Alonso called his car “undriveable” at one stage during the race as its handling deteriorated on worn tyres.

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“We need to look at it because the car was very difficult to drive, very little rear end from the car,” he said.

“We killed the tyres very quickly after the pit stop, so it was a tough race. We need to look at the details, obviously we don’t have the answers yet but we need to get better for Japan.”

The race began promisingly for Alonso as he ran inside the points. However he struggled for pace following his pit stop during the lap 21 Safety Car period.

His team principal Mike Krack said they need to get to the bottom of the problems they encountered at a track they expected would suit them. “On the medium everything ran pretty solid,” he said. “After the Safety Car we fitted the hard tyres and we struggled a bit more, we need to understand why.

“When the virtual [Safety Car] came, we were not sure that we could go the full distance with a decent level of performance.”

Aston Martin’s form has tailed off with just one podium since Canada in June, after six top three finishes in the opening eighth grands prix. But Krack believes there is no reason for concern.

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“We have also had a couple of good ones,” he said. “I think over a season with 23 races, and generally in sports you have ups and downs that’s normal.

“So we have to learn our lessons from this weekend, take the positives and move to Japan as quick as possible.”

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2023 Singapore Grand Prix

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Author information

Ed Hardy
In 2019, Ed started working on Formula 1 writing articles during race weekends. Alongside that, he also built up experience in football working on...
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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15 comments on “Point-less Aston Martin “expected a strong weekend in Singapore” – Alonso”

  1. Their car aero concept quite mimic to Red Bull, and Red Bull struggled as well.

    1. Both need grip on the rears and that was the problem no traction or grip. RB changed a little thing after FP3 and the tyres didn’t got in the right window anymore. The track is a very rough in some parts and smooth in other parts so the setup went wrong.

  2. I never saw an explanation of why Aston didn’t put one of their reserve drivers in Stroll’s car (or back-up chassis). Could it be that both reserve drivers (Vandoorne and Drugovich) were unavailable? I would find that difficult to comprehend.
    In this regard, it seems that the team deliberately shot themselves in the tail.

    1. You can’t nominate a different driver after qualifying has started as they don’t have a representative time all weekend

      1. Thank you, RB.

    2. @rbalonso is corrent qualifying was started then you can’t replace someone anymore.

  3. You can’t nominate a different driver after qualifying has started as they don’t have a representative time all weekend.

    1. So if a third driver did one free practice session he Is eligible to start the face even without qualifying?

      1. Yes, we saw that happen a few years (probably quite a few by now) back in Japan I think

  4. I have read that Alonso also had damaged suspension. Anyone else have more information about that?

    1. Yeah, from onboards seems like it might’ve been damaged suspension housing from lap 2 onwards. There seems to be some debate as to how much that played into their performance in the race (they were looking stronger in fp2), but it seems likely it screwed up the aero at least a little if not significantly. With the way modern cars are built little things like that can make a big difference – this is maybe what Alonso was referring to when he called the car “undriveable”, which he didn’t seem to think in qualy and practice. It’s too bad Stroll didn’t give us much to work with for a baseline.

      You can read more speculation about it on the f1technical thread for the aston martin team (around here: https://www.f1technical.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30892&start=3225).

  5. The point of having a team is that it doesn’t all have to fall on one driver to score all the points every week. Alonso has been doing far too much of the work to be too hard on himself for not scoring points this weekend.

  6. If they had another competent pair of hands in the other car they would be sitting pretty between Merc and Ferrari and an off weekend wouldn’t look so bad but now, really, it’s a huge concern that McLaren is this fast on proper pace. Once they get these last upgrandes on Oscar’s car, they are in to score some very big points with both cars… The gap Aston currently has could shrink fast…

    1. Hopefully that’s the wake up call they need to examine the driver’s performance, but I won’t hold my breath.

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