June 14, 2024

Aston Martin will change “significantly” in 2023

(Motorsport-Total.com) – After a Formula 1 winter test drive in Bahrain, Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin are trading inside tips for the season opener on Sunday (AD: Stay close to Sky – from the first free training session to the award ceremony!). But Alonso himself doesn’t think he has a realistic chance of winning the race: “Honestly, it’s not our first goal, because the top three teams were in a different league last year,” he says.

Fernando Alonso is currently exuding guarded optimism when it comes to appointments

Alonso recalled: “There were races where they ran the fourth best team and in the end there were only seven cars on the same lap. That gap couldn’t be closed in one winter.” At the same time he admits: “We are very happy with our car. But we have to stay on the ground and work hard on further development.”

Aston Martin is currently a hot topic at the Formula 1 circuit in the Sasheer desert, just a short drive from Bahrain’s capital, Manama. Teammates such as Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen and Juanyu Zou all cite Aston Martin as the team they have improved over 2022. Even Lewis Hamilton rated the car “very, very strong”.

The data sees Aston Martin with a wide lead

also Data analysis by technology company PACETEQ, which works with teams from Formula 1, on the Formel1.de YouTube channel Performances: Alonso’s simulation of the race on Saturday night was the best in the full winter testing. If so, how PACETEQ– CEO Alexandre Bodeau sets it straight, under the best conditions all week.

Alonso remains calm: “I have no idea where we are at the moment. The point of this car was for us to take a step forward. We succeeded. The test results were very encouraging, as was the feeling in the car that I had. Right from the start it was good.”

But he warns the competition: “This is just the beginning. The car will change dramatically during the season. At least that’s the plan. The team told me two-thirds will change. We have a good platform that we’re 2023 – and maybe next year we can really fight for more.”

Alonso told his girlfriend, Andrea Schlager

Alonso says that a team like Aston Martin, which is currently experiencing growth, should take it “one step at a time”. But even if he is reticent about public events such as Thursday’s FIA press conference in Bahrain: in his inner circle he seems very positive about the change of team.

One knows from Aston Martin they “want. They really want to. And now they can, it seems,” his partner Andrea Schlager reports in one message. Video on Formel1.de YouTube channel Out of the box. “Very satisfied,” says the ServusTV presenter in the studio on “Sport and Talk from Hangar-7.”

“It’s a good thing it started out that way for him, because of course he put everything into it,” she says happily with her Spanish friend, and adds: “He hasn’t been disappointed with Aston Martin from the start. He’s catching up.” [einem Test in] Jerez said the car feels good and he didn’t fully understand last year’s very bad season.”

Did the 2022 season lay the foundation with Vettel?

For Alonso, it’s clear that a difficult 2022 season with Sebastian Vettel could have been the basis for the leap Aston Martin is now claimed to have made: “What they discovered in 2022 helped create a better foundation for this year’s development. The base is better now and we’re very happy with that.” .

But while Spanish fans and the Spanish press are already dreaming of winning Bahraini Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 world champion avoids overly optimistic questions. He doesn’t know if he really has a chance of getting on the podium or even winning, he denies it. It’s hard to say at the moment.

But one thing is clear: Aston Martin is “a very ambitious project. What I found here are very talented people. People who want to be successful, who want to win in the near future.” Which is very convenient for him, because at the age of 41 Aston Martin is probably Alonso’s last stop in Formula 1.

At 41: How long will Alonso last?

When asked how many years he had left to finally win a third world title, Alonso jokingly replied, “I don’t know. Eight, ten maybe?” It is difficult to imagine that he will be in Formula 1 for a long time. But there is a grain of truth in this joke. Because Alonso is not thinking of quitting.

“When I left Formula 1 in 2018, I just couldn’t get it. I was in a different race car every weekend, whether it was WEC, Dakar, Indy or whatever. When I got back into Formula 1, I had decided I was going to put other things in life.” In the back for a while and put it back together again.”

Piastri: Born a month after Alonso’s appearance

Fun fact: when Alonso ran his first Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 4, 2001 (finally 12th in a Minardi race), Melbourne’s Oscar Piastri (April 6, 2001) had not yet been born. But the question of age does not worry Alonso. After all: Michael Schumacher was 43 when he quit.

“I’ll be the first to feel it myself when something gets lost or when I can’t pull myself together for training in the morning. Up until now, I’ve only seen my age as an advantage, because I know the roads in general the conditions, I know them the cars, I know the tyres. With the best will in the world I can’t To see any flaws there,” says Alonso.

He definitely has the hunger to meet the little kids again. Many of them look to him as a role model – and even took their first steps in motorsport in Alonso’s Kart: “Not only Oscar, but also Daniel Cugat, Carlos and Lando. A few of them,” he smiles.