Fernando Alonso spent four hours in the simulator ahead of AMR23 launch

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso smiles with an engineer. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Fernando Alonso smiles in the Aston Martin garage as he tests for the team at the end of the season. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Fernando Alonso spent “four hours” in the Aston Martin simulator before the shenanigans of the team’s launch began on Monday such is his motivation says Tom McCullough.

While Aston Martin may be investing in new infrastructure, it’s the arrival of Alonso over the winter that has the team truly believing success is on the horizon.

The double World Champion has been firmly entrenched in his new team’s pre-season plans, which began with a debut run in last year’s Aston Martin at the 2022 post-season Abu Dhabi test in December.

He spent more time in the 2022 car when the team took part in a recent Pirelli tyre test, capping that with a first outing in this year’s AMR23 at Silverstone on Wednesday.

That shakedown followed on from Monday’s launch where performance director McCullough revealed the Spaniard had already spent hours in the team’s simulator before getting suited and booted for the launch event.

“We’re try to hit the ground running when we go testing but more importantly when we go racing,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“So our typical end of year is to review what you’ve done, what you’ve done well, what you could have done better.

“When you have a new driver, you get his input to, and that’s what we’ve spent most of the winter doing. And it’s actually still going on.

“Fernando spent four hours in the simulator this morning ahead of everything else he was doing.

“And that’s sort of the kind of push that we’re getting from him. He’s massively motivated, pushing us all really hard, because he wants to do really well, just like we do.”

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It’s that desire to do well that has Alonso declaring that unlike some of his previous teams, “this team is not happy with fourth.

“This team is not happy with third. This team is not happy with second. And this is what I feel from everyone here. There are no celebrations until we win and and that is something that is very motivating.”

But, he acknowledges, getting to the point of winning will take time.

“I don’t think it will happen this year and I am honest on that,” he added. “I have my feet on the ground and I cannot say to anyone we will be fighting for victories this year because I would be lying.

“There are no miracles in Formula 1 from one season to next. It has only been a few months since the last race in Abu Dhabi and there is a big gap to the top teams to recover.

“But if we have a good baseline car this year, we will have more possibilities to fight for wins and podiums next season. I trust this project.”