Fernando Alonso pieced together his top five performances of F1 2023, dropping Monza in there specifically because Aston Martin had perhaps the slowest car of anyone there.
Alonso’s first season with Aston Martin exceeded expectations, the Silverstone squad coming firing out of the blocks with an AMR23 challenger arguably second-fastest on the grid behind the dominant Red Bull RB19.
Aston Martin struggled to keep pace though with Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren as the F1 2023 development battle progressed, but Alonso nonetheless ended the season with an impressive eight podiums scored, three of those P2 finishes.
Monza P9 makes Fernando Alonso top five
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com in reflection on his F1 2023 campaign, Alonso spoke of how this was his strongest season yet performance wise, but his top five outings did not exclusively feature podium finishes.
A P9 at the Italian Grand Prix may not sound impressive, but Alonso said it was considering Aston Martin had the second-slowest car on the grid at best that weekend.
“I’m happy with the personal performance,” he said.
“I think together with 2012 it’s the best season for me. Personally, I rate the best season in my driving and I was happy with everything, I was motivated, I was fit, I was performing in difficult conditions sometimes.
“Bahrain, Monaco, Canada, Monza and Brazil will be my top five of the year. And I put Monza on purpose because it was a ninth place and it was not a podium, it was nothing that people will remember, but probably we had the slowest car at Monza or the second-slowest and to be in the points, it was one of those weekends that everything was very good.”
Pressed on whether his drive to P2 in Zandvoort should be in there, Alonso replied: “No, I think the car was very good there.”
Aston Martin deserved a win more than anyone
Red Bull had the F1 2023 victory scene almost exclusively on lockdown, winning 21 of the 22 grands prix.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was the only one to inflict a defeat upon Red Bull by winning the Singapore Grand Prix, while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri won in sprint action in Qatar.
But, Alonso says that Aston Martin were the team which would truly have deserved to deny Red Bull the undefeated season.
Asked if an F1 2023 victory was ever actually possible, Alonso replied: “I think it was possible. Probably Monaco was the closest, maybe a tyre call change, maybe Zandvoort if we were in a different position in that restart.
“Yeah, probably we had opportunities here and there, but yes, really I believe that we deserved it more than anyone else this year.”
Alonso enters the second and final year of his current Aston Martin contract in F1 2024, though the team has already expressed their desire to agree fresh terms.