Aston Martin told to throw their simulation data ‘in the bin’ because of Fernando Alonso

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso on the grid in Australia.

Fernando Alonso is P8 in the Drivers' Championship after Japan.

Beating his team’s simulator predictions, Aston Martin have been told to “throw” their computers in the bin as they don’t take into account the “Alonso factor”.

As a driver who believes he brings around half a second to the track through his own performance, Fernando Alonso is once again leading Aston Martin’s 2024 charge.

‘You have to add the ‘Alonso factor’ that spoils everything’

Additional reporting by Pablo Hidalgo

Although he has yet to repeat last year’s podium celebrations with Ferrari firmly in the number two slot behind Red Bull, he’s scored 24 of the team’s 31 points to put them fifth in the standings where they’re just a single point behind Mercedes.

Twice inside the top five in qualifying, the Spaniard has ripped up Aston Martin’s simulator predictions with DAZN’s Antonio Lobato calling that the “Alonso factor”.

Speaking to Aston Martin ambassador Pedro de la Rosa in Japan, he said: “Pedro, you have to throw away the simulation computer, you can throw it in the bin at Aston Martin, put in an upgrade, because what was that forecast?

“Ninth in Bahrain, ninth in Saudi Arabia, ninth in Australia and ninth here, and it turns out that in Bahrain he got it right, he was ninth, but from then you have to add the ‘Alonso factor’ that spoils everything.”

The Spaniard agreed.

“We have to keep throwing computers, we’ve had three… three broken computers!” he said with a laugh.

“But,” he added, “the truth is that it’s nice to work with a driver like Fernando because he makes these races for you.

“If you understand a little bit about racing, you know what a credit it is to have such guy on your gearbox for three races in a row, we’ve had Jeddah, Australia and this one, where he’s had Russell or Piastri every lap.

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“To have contained Piastri, especially Russell… it’s more down to the driver.

“But it’s a team effort. A car gives performance and then there are better or worse drivers.

“Today I applaud my team, we took a lot of risks. We went out on a soft tyre, there was a red flag and we went back out on the soft tyre because we didn’t have any more. We took a gamble.”

Not only did Alonso hold off George Russell in Saudi Arabia, he used tactics – ultimately deemed wrong by the race stewards – on the Mercedes driver in Australia while a race later in Japan he deployed the Carlos Sainz DRS trick of Singapore 2023 to assist Oscar Piastri DRS in keeping Russell at bay.

Alonso is eighth in the Drivers’ Championship on 24 points.

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