Alonso says Aston Martin are pushing ‘flat out’ on developments as constructors’ fight ramps up at Suzuka
Fernando Alonso has indicated that there will be more to come from Aston Martin over the final six races of the 2023 season as they look to maximise their standing in the constructors’ championship.
Aston Martin started the year as Red Bull’s nearest rivals but have been gradually reeled in and overtaken by Mercedes and Ferrari, with the Silver Arrows now 84 points ahead in P2 and the third-placed Scuderia some 64 clear.
Meanwhile, the much-improved McLaren have also been making significant headway, their double podium finish at Suzuka putting them within 49 points of the tally achieved by Alonso and Lance Stroll’s green machines so far.
Reflecting on his run to P8 at Suzuka, behind the two McLarens, Ferraris and Mercedes machines, Alonso said: “I think today we had a little bit more than the result shows. I think P6 and definitely P7 was possible.
“Obviously McLaren is a little bit too far ahead at the moment, [but] everyone is working flat out in the factory to bring some new parts before the end of the season, so let’s see what we can bring.”
Alonso, who gained four places on the opening lap but pitted before the cars around him and dropped back, added: “It was a good race. I think a mega start, up to P6, then we had good pace in the race.
“I think we didn’t optimise the strategy, maybe we stopped too soon at the beginning, too early – maybe that compromised a little bit the final result. But we were fast and the pace was a little bit better than expected, so I had fun in the car.”
It was not such a fun day for team mate Lance Stroll who, after getting knocked out in Q1 and lining up 17th, was forced to retire from proceedings due to a rear wing issue that left the component “falling off”.
“My race was ended by a rear wing failure today,” he commented. “It’s disappointing because I had a good start, making up five places on the opening lap.
“I think a point or two would have been possible. That’s racing sometimes. We’ll investigate what happened and go again in a couple of weeks’ time in Qatar.”