Fernando Alonso reminded he has a ‘competitive car’ after first signs of discontent

Michelle Foster
Spanish driver Fernando Alonso looking serious as he leans on the Aston Martin equipment ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso: Two-time F1 World Champion

As the first signs of disgruntlement played out over the radio in Singapore, Aston Martin ambassador Pedro de la Rosa reminded Fernando Alonso his AMR23 is a “competitive car”, they just had a race that “conspired” against them.

Although this year’s championship has witnessed a love fest play out between Alonso and his new Formula 1 team, Aston Martin, the mood soured in Singapore as the Spaniard struggled to break into the top ten.

The frustrated Spaniard let the team know his feelings over the radio: “This is undriveable!”

Singapore saw the first signs of disconnect from Fernando Alonso

It was the first signs of discontent in a season in which the double World Champion has raced to seven podiums and sat best of the rest in the Drivers’ Championship in third place. At least he did until Singapore.

Last of the classified runners in 15th place, 90s down on race winner Carlos Sainz, Alonso now trails Lewis Hamilton by 10 points in the standings.

De la Rosa has reminded his compatriot that all is not lost, there are better races and better results to come.

“We were expecting to be more competitive but then again we lacked a bit of pace especially. It was an unfortunate weekend for so many reasons. I don’t want to look for excuses,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

“We’ve had a terrible shunt, Lance [Stroll] is recovering, but it was difficult for the team as well.

“Then on the race itself, there was one thing after the other that conspired against us – getting in a fight with Checo, overheating the tyres, then we had the penalty, we had a bad pit stop.

“I don’t think we were that far off. We would have finished higher in the points had everything gone as planned. But you know, this is motor racing and you have to have perfect weekends if you want to finish in the top six.”

He added: “This is Formula 1. It is a tough one and there will always be bad weekends.

“It’s important really to learn from it and go to Suzuka with learned lessons and upbeat again.

“Let’s not forget we’ve achieved already seven podiums so we definitely have a much more competitive car than what we’ve shown this week.”

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Can McLaren catch Aston Martin before the season is over?

With Lando Norris second for McLaren and Oscar Piastri seventh, McLaren closed the gap to Aston Martin to 78 points with seven races remaining.

The Woking team brought their second big upgrade of the season to the Marina Bay circuit and, like their Austrian updates, they proved to be spot on.

De la Rosa, although impressed with McLaren’s progress, says Aston Martin are not out of the fight.

“It just proves that they have a strong team and that they are making the right changes, that the pace of development is very good,” he said of McLaren’s upgrade.

“But I think that everyone is keeping the pace really. I mean, we’re all trying our best to be there.

“And McLaren at the moment they’ve brought like, how many upgrades, like nine different upgrades in the car to this race. So they just proved that they are doing a great job, they have a great technical team behind.

“But this is a long journey, and I think that the other teams will catch up as well.”

Asked whether McLaren could catch Aston Martin, he replied: “We’ll see. We are also on a journey and we have development through the year.

“We are not giving up and we are going to defend as much as we can as well and hopefully we are at the point that we can attack as well.

“So we will see because there are many different types of tracks coming and we also are following a development program.”

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