Pundit highlights pivotal Fernando Alonso task as ‘honeymoon’ at possible end

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso appearing in thought.

F1 pundit Peter Windsor believes Fernando Alonso faces the challenge of trying to keep Aston Martin as ‘The Fernando Alonso show’ after a tail-off in results for the team.

Alonso came out of the blocks in F1 2023 firing on all cylinders with his new team, making the podium five times across the opening six rounds, but more recent outings have generally been a little more tricky.

Only one further podium finish has arrived since, with Aston Martin seemingly slipping behind Mercedes, Ferrari and the much-improved McLaren team in the F1 2023 development war.

Fernando Alonso Aston Martin ‘honeymoon’ over?

The most recent outing at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix also featured a very uncharacteristic unforced error from Alonso, one which saw him crash out of the sprint race in damp conditions.

So, as Aston Martin and Alonso look to re-emerge from the summer shutdown refreshed and harry Mercedes for that P2 Constructors’ spot, Windsor says Alonso must focus on ensuring that he remains at the centre of the Aston Martin universe, considering his team-mate Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence calls the shots.

“Right now, his job is to try to make sure that Aston Martin remain very much The Fernando Alonso Show,” said Windsor via YouTube.

“And that’s not going to be an easy ask over the second-half of 2023.

“Is this the moment when Fernando Alonso’s honeymoon with Aston Martin finally comes to an end and reality sinks in? Which is that it is the Stroll-owned team.

“He didn’t do very well in the [sprint] race, he went off, and didn’t look a very happy man walking over the gravel while the Safety Car was out.”

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Fernando Alonso will not get the Aston Martin assurances he craves

Alonso is a driver who throughout his extensive and wildly-successful F1 career has not always been known to maintain the greatest of relations with teams, and Windsor says the best way Aston Martin could keep the two-time champ happy is to assure him that he is their centrepiece.

But alas, Windsor believes that is not going to happen.

“I think the way to handle Fernando now if you’re at Aston Martin, is to say ‘you’re a much much better driver than Lance, we’re going to put everything into you now Fernando, you are our future,'” said Windsor. ‘Without you being happy in the car, this team is nothing’.

“‘We’re going to continue to improve and you’re going to win a grand prix for Aston Martin by the end of the year’. That’s what the inner-Fernando would want to hear. He isn’t going to hear it, that’s for sure.”

Alonso remains P3 in the Drivers’ standings but has seen Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton close to within a point, while Aston Martin are now 51 points behind Mercedes who hold P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

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