Fernando Alonso could not resist a jab at another of his former employers after returning to the Formula 1 podium in Miami, this time making a quip about the “inconsistency” of Ferrari.
Alonso’s stunning start to the 2023 campaign continued in Florida, where he reached the podium for the fourth time in five races.
The Aston Martin driver, however, finished 26 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen as Red Bull maintained their 100 per cent start to the season.
Former employers Alpine were firmly in Alonso’s sights in Miami, where he was heard mocking the team over the radio in practice before strongly implying that the Enstone outfit had not valued him enough prior to his departure at the end of last season after qualifying on the front row of the grid.
“I’ve been always working hard, but I didn’t have probably the team believing in my performance, in my ability to set up the car as well and to move forward,” he told Danica Patrick during the post-session interviews.
“And also I never had a fast car as I have now. So I think that’s the reason.
“I didn’t change anything but Aston Martin changed everything for me.”
Alonso was full of praise for Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey at the end of the race in Miami, likening the team’s advantage to that enjoyed by Mercedes during Lewis Hamilton’s dominant era.
In a five-year spell at Ferrari between 2010 and 2014 Alonso twice missed out on the title at the final race to Sebastian Vettel, behind the wheel of Red Bull cars designed by Newey.
Alonso cited consistency as the key to Ferrari’s spirited Championship challenges in 2010 and 2012 – a strength, he says, the Scuderia have lost in the years since.
According to GPFans, he said: “Adrian Newey created a car of another level with Red Bull.
“The same thing that Mercedes did during the Hamilton/Bottas years.
“When I was in Ferrari, we were always close to them, and we never made a mistake; we fought for the World Championship for three of the four years until the last race, thanks to our consistency.
“Fortunately for us, there is a little more inconsistency in Ferrari now, and we make more points than them.”
Ferrari have scored just a single podium finish in 2023 so far, with Charles Leclerc finishing eight tenths ahead of Alonso at the recent Azerbaijan GP to secure P3.
Although Leclerc set pole position for both the sprint race and the grand prix itself in Baku, Ferrari remain without a win since last July’s Austrian GP and have not won either the Drivers’ or Constructors’ Championship since 2008 – two years prior to Alonso’s arrival.
Leclerc led Verstappen by 46 points after winning two of the first three rounds of last season, but eventually finished 146 behind the newly crowned two-time World Champion after a mid-season implosion which resulted in team principal Mattia Binotto being replaced by Fred Vasseur.