Fernando Alonso offers his perspective on Aston Martin’s 2023 Formula 1 campaign. The team, which initially demonstrated its potential with five podium finishes in the first six races, has struggled in the latter part of the season as competitors outpaced their development efforts.
Alonso, a two-time world champion and a key figure in the team, shared his insights on the situation, emphasizing the shift in the team’s goals from competing for championships to gaining valuable knowledge for the future.
“Honestly, we are not fighting for anything,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “We will learn, even if we have to start from the pitlane, and you know that is more useful than just spending the weekend.”
The team’s decline in performance in the second half of the season has been evident, with Alonso’s best result being a sixth-place finish in Qatar. Notably, he experienced his first two retirements of the 2023 season in Austin and Mexico City, where the team’s performance was far from ideal. Lance Stroll managed to salvage a seventh-place finish at the Circuit of the Americas, but the overall picture remained challenging.
As the Brazilian Grand Prix and the final three rounds of the season loom, Alonso has adjusted his expectations and stressed that Aston Martin’s current focus is squarely on preparing for the 2024 season.
“In the constructors’ championship, we are locked in the position we are. In the driver’s championship, we will lose a couple of places,” Alonso acknowledged. “But I mean, it is incredible that we are in front of Ferraris, or George or Lando or whatever, but we will lose those positions. They have a very fast car. And yet, let’s see what we can do.”
Alonso, however, remains hopeful that the team’s relentless efforts to improve their fortunes will allow them to conclude the year on a high note.
“We are working as much as we can,” he emphasized. “It’s not that we are just happy with the situation. It’s not the position we wish we were, but at the same time, we are working very hard to reverse the situation.”
The Spanish racing sensation believes that facing adversity can be a valuable learning experience. “And sometimes you learn more from the difficulties than from the celebrations. So right now we have a difficult time.”
Aston Martin is actively conducting tests and providing feedback to their Silverstone factory in an effort to make the necessary improvements. Alonso’s aspirations for a strong finish to the season reflect the team’s determination to rebound from the challenges they have faced.
“And hopefully, as I said, finish on a high, and not on a low.”
Alonso acknowledges that “finishing on a high” doesn’t necessarily mean securing podium finishes. With three different circuits ahead in the season’s final three races, there is an opportunity to gather more data on the car’s performance.
“It depends on what we call finish on a high,” he explained. “If we think that we will fight for podiums or something like that? I don’t think so. But to finish in a competitive way, I think we still have the possibility.”
As Aston Martin navigates the closing stages of the 2023 season, Alonso’s perspective sheds light on the team’s shift from immediate competitiveness to a more forward-thinking approach, hoping that the lessons learned this year will pave the way for a brighter future in Formula 1.