Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

Aston Martin “were in a stronger position 12 months ago” – Alonso

Formula 1

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Aston Martin are heading into the first race weekend of 2024 in a weaker position than the start of last year, Fernando Alonso believes.

The team surprised its rivals at the start of last season. Alonso finished on the podium in his first appearance for them and took five more over the next seven races.

He ended the first day of practice for the new season in third place behind the two Mercedes drivers. But Alonso says that flatters the car’s performance.

“It’s difficult to read,” he told the official F1 channel. “Definitely I’m a little bit surprised that we are a little bit high on the times.

“But things can change dramatically if the fuel loads are different to everyone else. So I remain calm.”

He believes the team is heading in the right direction with its new AMR24 and is hopeful of further gains to come over the season.

“I’m happy with the set-up changes we did today,” he said. “I think we still need to find more performance. I think 12 months ago we were in a stronger position, I would say, here in Bahrain. But let’s see.”

Although Alonso ended the day ahead of the Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren drivers, he isn’t prepared to take his position at face value.

“Obviously we don’t know what the others are doing, we just complete our program,” he said. “We know the tyres quite well from the test, so we sacrificed FP1 a little bit using the medium [compounds], we concentrated a little bit more on the performance with two softs.

“Now in FP2, we learned a little bit from the car, I think. Did a few set-up changes that we are quite happy with the result. So let’s see tomorrow when we put everything together in qualifying and same for everybody.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Aston Martin “were in a stronger position 12 months ago” – Alonso”

  1. Alonso has spoken of making a decision on his future depending on how the next few races going. He might not be statisfied with staying with AM if they slip back to just fighting for points. This may all just be a move for the Mercedes seat but I do wonder if he’s lost hope of fighting for a 3rd world title with how Max is now dominating.

    1. I don’t know. At this stage he might be happy to get into a decent car and get another win. Have a bit of fun. It’s up to him. Will be a shame to see him go. Alonso’s got a lot of driving in him in all sorts of disciplines if he wants to do it. If he can keep his performance level up, the next couple of those driving years can be in F1. Then, that’s it for good. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be worth him keeping his level up if he doesn’t get the car. Let’s see how Aston size up against the others. I think the other teams can catch Red Bull. If not, it might have to be Red Bull or nothing for Alonso. Considering the years he’s given us, it would be great if he could get into a top team for the last two. Almost everyone else has time. If there’s anyone out there interested in both the sport and the show, it would be good to see Lewis and Alonso in a competitive team against Max before that can never happen. Prost vs Senna vs Schumacher never happened. Max vs Lewis vs Alonso should!

      1. “Prost vs. Senna vs. Schumacher never happened.”
        It kinda never happened, because in 1993 they each had a GP win, so that was close enough for me.

        The next one that never happened was:
        Schumacher vs. Villeneuve vs. Hakkinen

        Next potential one:
        Schumacher vs. Villeneuve vs. Hakkinen vs. Alonso vs. Raikkonen vs. Hamilton

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