‘We had opportunities’ – Alonso picks out the races he thinks Aston Martin could have won in 2023
Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin had a shot at winning both the Monaco and Dutch Grands Prix in the season gone by, saying the team deserved to stand on the top step of the podium “more than anyone else” in 2023.
Alonso joined Aston Martin from Alpine over the winter and his move coincided with a leap up the pecking order from the Silverstone outfit, whose AMR23 emerged as second-best to Red Bull in the year’s early races.
With four podium finishes in five races behind him, it was in Monaco that Alonso feels Aston Martin first had a genuine shot at victory, only to pit for another set of slick tyres as rainfall arrived – rather than go straight to intermediates like eventual winner Max Verstappen – and lose valuable time.
A handful of races later, and after a dip in form from the green machine, a rain-hit race at Zandvoort also offered up plenty of opportunity, with Alonso pushing Verstappen following a late restart but coming up a few seconds short.
Asked if a race win had been on the cards for himself and Aston Martin over the course of the season, the two-time world champion commented: “I think it was possible.
“Probably Monaco was the closest, with a tyre call change or something. Maybe Zandvoort if we were in a different position in that restart or something.
“We probably had opportunities [to win] here and there, and yes, I believe that we deserve it more than anyone else this year.”
Alonso went on to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Aston Martin’s season as a whole, which brought a rise from seventh to fifth in the constructors’ standings and eight podium finishes – all courtesy of the Spaniard.
Pushed to name the biggest weakness Aston Martin must eliminate for 2024, in order to make another step forward, he said: “I think we need to find some consistency.
“Maybe one of the weak points was the car had to operate in a very narrow window. It’s the same for everybody, but it seems that we’re struggling a little bit and it would be nice if we could perform always at a stable level next year.
“Also, if we can improve the straight-line speed… I think that was, in performance numbers, our weak point, always [being] a little bit too slow on the straights.
“If we want to be as fast as the others, we needed to drop too much the rear wing, and then we ended up slow in the corners as well, so that was probably the loop that we could not [get out of] this season.
“The strength was tyre degradation; I think Sundays the car is very strong always. The execution of the strategy, the motivation of the team… We are a happy team, we are a young team, and we are celebrating every result as a win. This energy, it’s important to keep it for next year.”