Fernando Alonso reacts to Aston Martin claim Red Bull are ‘absolutely beatable’

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen speaks to Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso weighs in on Aston Martin's chances of beating Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso was cautious about tech boss Dan Fallows’ declaration that Red Bull are “absolutely beatable”, but hopes he will be the one behind the wheel of the AMR24 if, or when, it happens.

As Red Bull’s closest challenger in the early rounds of last year’s championship, Alonso scored six podiums in the first eight races with his season’s tally ending on eight.

That included three runner-up results, however, the double World Champion wasn’t able to take that final step in a season dominated by Max Verstappen with his 19 race wins.

Can Aston Martin beat Red Bull to a Grand Prix win in 2024?

Alonso has been sitting on 32 wins for a decade with his last win coming at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, but there are encouraging words coming out of the Aston Martin camp as technical director Fallows believes this could be the season the Silverstone team beats Red Bull on a Sunday.

But while his proclamation that the reigning World Champions are “absolutely beatable” is good to hear, Alonso is a bit more cautious about his team’s chances this season.

“That’s a good thing, that he says that!” he told the media including PlanetF1.com when asked about Fallows’ comment. “It puts a smile on my face.

“I didn’t speak with Dan for a few weeks now but I think we have to be optimistic at this part of the season.

“I think we saw last year as well, Ferrari finished really strong and achieved a few pole positions in the last part of the year. McLaren also did a huge step during the season and got close to Red Bull in a few races. So yeah, let’s see what happens.

“I think we have to be regularly in the points first, fighting for podiums, or be a contender for podiums, as we did last year.

“And then if we are in that position, it will be lovely to achieve the first victory in green for Aston Martin. Hopefully, I can be behind the wheel at that moment.

“But I think we have to go step by step. It’s going to be very tight. There are four or five teams within two or three-tenths of a second this year, I bet.

“So that will put you within two-tenths of a second fighting for podiums or fighting out of the top 10. We need to be really focused on that.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Four times Eddie Jordan’s wild and wacky F1 predictions came true

F1 2024: 11 seismic, seminal and sombre F1 anniversaries coming up this season

What did Dan Fallows say about Aston Martin’s chances this season?

Fallows was Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics before leaving the team to join Aston Martin as their technical director, joining the Silverstone team in April 2022.

Under his leadership, Aston Martin not only put a more Red Bull-esque design on the track but last season they were the Milton Keynes team’s closest challengers in the opening rounds.

He believes his former team is “beatable”, especially as their rivals gravitate towards the Red Bull concept.

“We talk about Red Bull because, obviously, they are the benchmark in terms of performance, but really whoever’s the fastest car is the focus for us,” he said. “And that’s what we were looking at.

“Rather than thinking about individual races, from an engineering point of view, we have to make a car that’s capable of operating at any circuit and being competitive. And that’s really what we’re focused on: making a car that’s usable, that’s good for the drivers.

“That’s what we’ve really been trying to sort of focus on. Those sorts of competitive stats and how we get close to Red Bull will come after that. If we put that performance on the car, then we give ourselves the ability to compete at that level, which is exactly what we want.”

He added: “People are getting very close and I think that suggests people are probably less able to take a big conceptual step away from the kind of things that we’re seeing on the majority of cars.

“The thing is we’re really into finding lap times now from things that are really smaller details. They’re kind of more detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car.

“But there’s still a lot of lap time to come and we take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable. That’s what we’re chasing after – we’re focusing on them. And that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Read next: Fernando Alonso doubts Lewis Hamilton Ferrari move motive: ‘Not his childhood dream 12 months ago’