Fernando Alonso hailed for ‘remarkable performance’ carrying ‘significant floor damage’

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso looking serious on the grid. Miami May 2023

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso looking serious on the grid. Miami May 2023

Fernando Alonso battled back from a trip through the Barcelona gravel in Q1 to make it all the way to Q3, which was quite “remarkable” considering the damage that off caused, says Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack.

Rain at the start of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix made for a very tricky Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The intensity was not enough to send the intermediate tyres into action, though on the slicks it was treacherous.

And Alonso found that out the hard way when he had a big moment on his out-lap in Q1, sliding off into the gravel out of the final turn.

The Spaniard escaped, albeit with a wrecked floor, and would make it all the way to Q3, qualifying P9, and his assessment of the performance, and that of his team boss, certainly differ.

Alonso said it was not his “best Saturday”, having revealed a further error at Turn 10 cost him a spot on the front row of the grid, but Aston Martin team principal Krack has nothing but praise for the performance of the two-time World Champion.

“It was quite a challenging qualifying session with a slightly damp and green track making Q1 especially difficult for all the teams,” said Krack.

“Fernando got caught out on a wet patch in the final corner during his out lap, he ran wide, and picked up significant floor damage by going through the gravel trap. With a big loss of downforce, it was a remarkable achievement to see him progress through to Q3.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Spanish GP Qualy: Max Verstappen on pole position while drama ensues behind

Nico Rosberg calls for Lewis Hamilton apology after George Russell qualifying clash

Lance Stroll meanwhile delivered a timely solid display, outqualifying team-mate Alonso for the first time as he prepares to start from P5.

The Canadian racer then also received praise from Krack, who is optimistic on Aston Martin’s chances of progress on race day, these conditions generally where the AMR23 excels.

“Lance had a clean session, kept his head down, and recovered well from a difficult day of practice yesterday,” said Krack. “He felt there was a bit more performance to come, but we should not be disappointed with getting both cars into Q3 – something that a few of our direct competitors failed to do.

“For tomorrow, we know we have a quick car in race trim so we will be aiming to progress and come away from Spain with both cars scoring good points.”

A solid points haul will likely be key for Aston Martin to retain P2 in the Constructors’ Championship, with Mercedes now only one point behind.