Fernando Alonso has hinted at a Aston Martin resurgence in the second half of the F1 2023 season after a rollercoaster start to the campaign.
Alonso and Aston Martin started the season so strongly with five podium finishes in the opening six races, but a pre-summer break dip means Mercedes have overtaken them into second in the World Constructors’ Championship.
At Spa, the two-time World Champion returned to the top five finishing positions for the first time since Austria and thinks that result will provide a better platform for more success in the final 10 races of the year.
‘Optimistic’ outlook at Aston Martin for Fernando Alonso
Speaking to Channel 4 after the Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso was encouraged by what looks like a step in the right direction again for Aston Martin.
“I think it was a good race for us. So always when your top five means that you did something good,” Alonso said.
“The start was good and we had the pace to keep one Mercedes behind and one McLaren behind, something that we didn’t have in the last few events. So yeah, I’m happy with with how fast the car felt today and we go into summer break optimistic.
“I think we understood a few things after Silverstone and Hungary. We were maybe going in the wrong direction in terms of setup choices and other stuff. The team went very deep into analysing everything that went wrong, especially after Hungary where we had high hopes there.
“I think the [Spa] result is a bit more optimistic for the team. We’re going to the summer break with the feet on the ground knowing that is not enough. I think the competition are very strong right now but this is the first step into a better Aston Martin.”
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‘Second half of the season is going to be interesting’
For those not particularly looking forward to the F1 2023 season resuming in Zandvoort given Red Bull’s strong stranglehold on the sport, Alonso thinks there is an “interesting” picture developing away from the runaway leaders.
Aston Martin, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine have all joined Red Bull on the podium so far this season, creating an intriguing question every race weekend of who really is the second quickest team on the grid.
Asked where he thinks Aston Martin are in the current pecking order, Alonso, too, doesn’t have a definitive answer to share.
“I think it depends from track to track and who brings more new parts into the next race,” Alonso sadded.
“But in the last few events we were named top five because McLaren, Mercedes Ferrari and obviously Red Bull they were in front. Today we are in the mix maybe with McLaren and Mercedes.
“I think the second half is going to be interesting but, after the very strong start that we did, maybe we have in the pocket a few few points advantage compared to the main competitors.”
Aston Martin currently sit third in the Constructors’ Championship, 51 points behind Mercedes in second.