Fernando Alonso said Aston Martin are fighting for positions which they “could probably never dream of” at the start of F1 2023, and so they must keep focused on the long-term despite recent setbacks.
While Red Bull have been the dominant force so far throughout F1 2023, a season which started with Aston Martin as a surprise ‘best of the rest’ has now morphed into something of a free-for-all between those in the chasing pack.
The most recent outing at the British Grand Prix saw McLaren inherit that status as the second-fastest team, with Aston Martin finishing behind them and Mercedes.
No getting “stressed” for Fernando Alonso
Having started the season with five podium finishes in the opening six races, Alonso has claimed only one more since, his Aston Martin team now fighting the retaliations from rivals as the upgrade packages arrive.
But, as a team which surged forward from the midfield last season with the goal of title challenges in the coming years, Alonso said Aston Martin must focus on this and the huge progress which they have already made, rather than get “stressed” in the field of battle.
“To be honest I’m not too stressed about the development,” he said as per Motorsport.com.
“The car is better than expected this year. We are fighting for things that we could probably never dream at the beginning of the year.
“So now if we can keep in the top 10 and fighting with the top guys, it’s great. But I think we have to focus as well on the long-term picture.
“We cannot get stressed every weekend if we are seventh or if we are fourth or if we are on the podium. We need to be very pragmatic and very relaxed about our performance.
“If someone else is faster than us we cannot do anything. We just need to understand, we need to learn from the things we do, and be in a way happy with the position we are, being happy with P7, while last year we were dead last here [at Silverstone] [sic].”
Fernando Alonso details Silverstone factors working against Aston Martin
Alonso was the only Aston Martin driver to score points at the British GP with his P7 finish, Lance Stroll dropping down the order to P14 after picking up a five-second time penalty for colliding with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly.
And while Alonso thinks the more difficult recent times for Aston Martin can partially be attributed to getting on the back foot slightly in the development war, Alonso re-emphasises that the Silverstone track is not one ideally suited to the Aston Martin AMR23.
He hopes that will change at the next round as Formula 1 heads to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Asked about the factors which led to that difficult Silverstone outing, Alonso replied: “Probably is a little bit of everything.
“Out-developed a little bit in terms of a few teams brought some significant upgrades lately. Track specific, I think here was not our best layout for the package that we have.
“We need to see also the tyres, obviously the first race that we have this new construction. So things that maybe we need to analyse more in detail but, all in all, I think we saved a very difficult weekend. Hopefully in Hungary we are again competitive.”
The Hungaroring has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for Alonso in his illustrious F1 career. He does have one victory to his name at this venue, though that came all the way back in 2003, his first season with the Renault team.