Aston Martin’s note of caution for Fernando Alonso and his dream of ’33’

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, shake hands. Australia, April 2023.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, and Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, shake hands on the podium. Australia, April 2023.

Dan Fallows has urged a note of caution as Fernando Alonso dreams of a first race win in a decade, the Aston Martin tech chief saying the team has to remain “realistic about our situation”.

And that situation is that their car, the AMR23, is not yet on a par with Red Bull’s RB19.

Alonso has made a dream start to his Aston Martin career with the 41-year-old claiming four podiums in five races. All have been P3s with the Spaniard making it clear after Miami that he now wants more, a P2 and hopefully even a win.

But with Red Bull running rampant over their rivals, the RB19 superior in every aspect, Fallows is taking it one race at a time.

“I’d love to say that a win is possible this season,” he admitted. “There are obviously some circuits where it’s not the normal run of play necessarily, sometimes cars have particular characteristics that can play out. For example in Monaco, tracks like that.

“But honestly, I think we’re realistic about our situation, where we are at the moment, our focus is really on just maximising the amount of performance we get on the car in the shortest possible time.

“And we’ll see what kind of rewards that brings.”

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For Aston Martin to receive rewards, a disaster would need to befall Red Bull given the pace of the RB19, which has a 100 percent win record for the season, four of which were 1-2 results.

So far Aston Martin with their Red Bull-esque sidepods are showing themselves to be the Milton Keynes team’s nearest challenger and sit P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

But given that Red Bull started running their design at the beginning of last season whereas Aston Martin only made the switch in Spain that year, Fallows acknowledges Red Bull have had more time to understand their car.

“We do we need to sort of consider where we are relative to the Red Bull,” he added as per Motorsport.com, “but I think there are areas we believe where we’re relatively strong.

“Also, we have to optimise our car for every particular circuit, which means that sometimes there may be aspects of whether it’s low-speed, high-speed corners, which aren’t quite as strong as some other competitors.

“The Red Bull as a concept has been evolved for a bit longer than ours. We obviously very publicly went to a different concept early last year. We are still developing that.

“We think we’ve made a very big step this year, but we still have a little way to go. And I think honestly, I wouldn’t point to sort of one single area of it. I think we just need to improve everything, really.”

That’s not to say, though, that he believes there’s any one big weakness or strength when it comes to the AMR23.

“It’s not necessarily that I think our car has particular strengths in some areas,” he said. “I think we have managed to generate a car which is reasonably capable in a lot of different areas. We can tune it to what we believe is the optimum for that particular track.

“There are certainly areas that we are focused from an aerodynamic and mechanical point of view that we think we can make progress. But honestly, I don’t look at it as a car that has any significant weaknesses at the moment.

“It’s just that we want to kind of build on the speed that we have and keep going with the same philosophy.”