Fernando Alonso makes surprise podium claim for rest of F1 2023 season

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso speaks to media.

Fernando Alonso lifts his cap.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso says it would not dampen his mood if the podium appearances are done for F1 2023.

Alonso joined forces with Aston Martin in time for the 2023 campaign and the results were instant, the team surging out of the midfield and establishing themselves as the second-fastest force behind Red Bull, Alonso making the podium five teams across the opening six rounds.

Aston Martin though have seemingly lost ground as the F1 2023 development war gathered pace, with just one further top three finish arriving for Alonso since.

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Fernando Alonso fine without another F1 2023 podium

The season now resumes at Circuit Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix, one of 10 remaining rounds, and if not one of them produces an Alonso podium, then so be it he says.

Asked by media including PlanetF1.com whether he would be disappointed if he were not on the podium again in F1 2023, Alonso replied: “I will not be disappointed.

“It is more difficult now. I think there is more competition up there fighting for podiums, four teams [Aston Martin, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari] now fighting quite closely, so yeah, it’s going to be difficult to get another six [podiums] in the second half.

“But I will be happy with with two or three, I hope.”

Alonso revealed that he had returned to his home town of Oviedo in Spain over the F1 2023 summer shutdown, where he enjoyed some family time but was also “getting ready for the second half” of the campaign.

“We all need a little bit of time off,” the two-time World Champion added. “More than us probably is the team, the mechanics, everyone needed that break, especially after July with four races.

“I think it’s going to be quite demanding now with some back-to-back races, always flying around and the last two obviously Vegas and Abu Dhabi quite far away, so batteries are fully charged.”

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And it is a second half of the season where Aston Martin have plenty of work to do, considering Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari all appear to have pulled ahead.

Nonetheless, whatever comes in these remaining 10 rounds, Alonso looks back on part one of F1 2023 with great pride for himself and Aston Martin.

“Let’s say it was unexpected in a way how competitive the team was,” Alonso reflected. “From the first race we found ourselves in a very strong position, so we maximised every opportunity in the first few races.

“And then in the last few events we were maybe not as competitive as the first part of the year, but we still scored points in every single weekend.

“And now in the second part of the year, I think we want to go back to a more competitive position. I think everything is so tight now behind Red Bull with Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren. So we want to be in that fight until Abu Dhabi and that’s the aim.”

Fernando Alonso declares Aston Martin in “Champions League” now

Whether that aim is achieved or not, Alonso was keen to praise the team for their work which led to a huge performance spike into F1 2023, but also highlighting how the pace of the AMR23 is not enough to deliver the kind of results they have, Alonso twice finishing P2, in the Monaco and Canada GPs.

Alonso likened Aston Martin’s rise to now competing against sides in the Champions League, the football/soccer competition which pits the best sides European football has to offer against each other.

“I think this is Formula 1 and things are changing so quickly,” said Alonso when asked how he recaptures that early-season form?

“I think it was a surprise for us that the car was fast, but I think the team was outstanding over the winter, understanding what the problems were last year.

“I think reliability, everything, strategy, we did things really good in most of the races to get those results.

“It’s not only the pace of the car, you need to master everything in the weekend from Free Practice 1 until Sunday.

“I think we are like playing in the Champions League at the moment and we are finding ourselves with the very top teams trying to overdevelop as well off-track. This is going to be the biggest challenge for Aston Martin now.”

Aston Martin sit P3 in the Constructors’ standings, 51 points behind Mercedes and five ahead of Ferrari.

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