Alonso: “Ferrari were quite lucky” to avoid tyre issues in Baku

Fernando Alonso believes that Ferrari narrowly escaped tire issues in Baku, arguing that specific circumstances helped the Scuderia secure a podium on Sunday.

The SF-23 has always been there or thereabouts in qualifying, but the team’s limitations in race trim have been consistent throughout the season.

With that said, a reliability failure in Bahrain, a grid penalty in Jeddah and early incident in Australia have made it difficult to accurately gauge Leclerc’s race performance.

Leclerc’s podium in Baku is a confirmation of the pace he showed until his Bahrain DNF, capable of fighting for a podium but unable to fight against the Red Bull duo.

Aston Martin – more specifically, Fernando Alonso – will likely be the biggest threat to the Scuderia in the upcoming rounds.

Speaking after the Baku GP, the Spaniard gave his analysis of the race weekend:

“Quite happy with the pace. We had the pace in the Sprint as well, but today we showed an even stronger one – especially with the mediums at the beginning. 

Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari
29.04.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku Street Circuit, Azerbaijan, Sprint Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

“Unfortunately, the Safety Car came, and we all put on hard tyres. 

“The hard tires didn’t have any degradation, which is our strongest point at the moment. So I think Ferrari was quite lucky there – because they were struggling a lot in the first stone, and then they were OK on the hards.

“Ferrari, they did have a good weekend – pole position on both qualifying and things like that. 

“And, even with that, we are still one second from them, so it shows that Aston Martin.”

Ferrari’s SF-23 has shown glimpses of the raw performance the team anticipated during the winter break, but this has not translated into a reliable race pace.

Upgrade packages, efficient weekends and a better understanding of these 2023 cars will be crucial in the upcoming rounds.