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Alonso expects Aston Martin to have 'a little bit more pace' in Austria after return to podium in Canada

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 18: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team walks to the grid

Fernando Alonso expects Aston Martin to have “a little bit more pace” at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. However, the Spaniard also explained why he believes the Sprint format could put them at a disadvantage in Spielberg.

Aston Martin brought their first major upgrade package last time out in Montreal, but could not gather as much data as they would have liked due to running in FP1 being limited due to CCTV issues, as well the rain hampering running time at points during the weekend.

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Although Alonso believes the upgrades will see them fare well in Austria this weekend, as they seek to close the gap to championship leaders Red Bull, he admits having just one practice session could work against them.

“I think the Sprint weekend will not be ideal for us,” Alonso explained. “We still have more time maybe of free practice with our new upgraded car. We still need to understand and optimise the package a little bit.

"And in Austria obviously, with the Sprint, we will have only FP1 to do that. But yeah, it is what it is. The circuit will be good and maybe better for the package as well let’s say.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 18: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR23 Mercedes

Alonso believes Aston Martin will have a little bit more pace in Austria

“Maybe good for Ferrari, historically here as well with a long straight and short corners so maybe Austria we have a little bit more pace.”

Aston Martin Technical Director Dan Fallows also gave additional insight into the upgrades. He opened up about the aim of the new updates explaining that, while he hopes the upgrades improve their performance, there is a more pressing concern for them to address.

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“I think the main focus for us, and obviously we want to put more performance on the car in general, but we’ve seen over the last couple of events particularly, that our car, there are some circuits that suit it more, and some circuits that don't suit it quite as much,” Fallows explained.

“So, we’ve looked at concentrating on broadening that operating window of the car, and that’s particularly what we’re focused on with these updates.”

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