Alonso insists it has still been 'incredible season' despite Aston Martin’s double DNF in Mexico and drop off in form
Fernando Alonso insists 2023 has still been an "incredible season" for Aston Martin despite he and team mate Lance Stroll being forced to retire from the Mexico City Grand Prix.
It has been a difficult period for the team and that continued in Mexico, with Alonso starting from 13th after failing to make it into Q3 for the second race in a row – following Austin where he qualified 17th. But he struggled in the early stages of the race and, after letting Stroll through, he was running in 16th by Lap 20.
The Spaniard could not recover and was running at the rear of the field when, on Lap 47, he retired having sustained damage running over debris.
"Yeah, we felt immediately something wrong in the car," said Alonso. "We were quite slow, we let Lance go as well at the beginning just to hope for a better result for the team. But we were slow in general in the race.
“Not only in the race, I think the whole weekend has been a little bit difficult for us. Sometimes you learn more things from the difficulties than from the celebrations, so hopefully it’s one of those times.”
Alonso started the season by scoring six podiums in the first half of the year but since the summer break, he has finished on the rostrum just once – at Zandvoort – and has now failed to finish the last two races.
Asked if frustration was beginning to build, Alonso replied: “Obviously, we would love to keep fighting for podiums, but we are not in that position unfortunately.
“But no, it’s not frustration yet, this year has been an incredible season for us. So, even if we DNF the remaining races, 2023 is still a good season, but hopefully we can revert this situation and we can finish on a high.”
As for Stroll, he started in the pit lane in Mexico after Aston Martin made some overnight changes to his car. Towards the end of the race the Canadian looked to make a move past Valtteri Bottas for 13th.
However, the two made contact for which Bottas was given a five-second penalty. Stroll was subsequently forced to retire his car bringing an end to a difficult afternoon for Aston Martin.
"We had a slightly better car after making some set-up changes overnight," said Stroll. “But we still don’t have the pace that we need to compete at the front of the grid.
"I had to retire due to contact with Bottas between Turns 13 and 14. Our focus now shifts to Brazil and trying to maximise the final Sprint weekend of the year."