Fernando Alonso sends ominous warning to rivals: ‘This is just the beginning’

Sam Cooper
Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir, March 2023.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir, March 2023.

Fernando Alonso has sent an ominous warning to his rivals that their Bahrain P3 was “just the beginning” for what Aston Martin can achieve.

The Spaniard turned pre-season speculation into bonafide speed on Sunday when he secured his 99th podium and only the second for Aston Martin since they rebranded from Racing Point.

What is even more encouraging for Alonso and the team is that it was not a result made out of pure luck with the AMR23 showing genuine pace and, although Charles Leclerc was forced to retire, the fact that Alonso was able to overtake both Mercedes cars was a sign of how far they had come.

But Alonso has warned that the constructor who finished P7 last year is not done yet and commented that the Bahrain podium was “just the beginning.”

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“There are a couple of areas that we have to improve that I will not share,” he explained to media including PlanetF1.com.

“But I think the most important point is that the new Aston Martin is just a new car, a new project. This is just the beginning.

“This is not the final car, this is just the starting core of this concept that we changed over winter.

“I think some of the top teams just kept the philosophy that they had last year. Red Bull or Ferrari, they kept more of the same shapes. Yes, fine tuning things and making perfection of that good baseline that they had.

“For us, it was much more difficult. We had to change 95% of the car. So I guess there is more to learn from the car and there is more to come on our side. So full trust in our team. Obviously they know what they’re doing. So this is hopefully [going to] improve soon.”

Although it was an almost perfect race from the team, it could have ended it disaster early on when Lance Stroll, who recovered from a broken wrist in time to race, almost took out his own team-mate on lap 1.

Stroll was fighting with George Russell when he braked too late into a corner and hit the rear wheel of Alonso. It was well held by the Spaniard to not spin out but he did lose the place to Russell as a result.

Alonso commented that the team “got lucky” the incident did not lead to worse results.

“I thought it was George!” Alonso said. “But I saw the replay on TV later and it was Lance.

“He had a very good start because he was alongside me into turn 4. We got lucky. Two cars that didn’t have any problem and we could continue. But it was our lucky day for many things.”