Fernando Alonso believes victory is possible in 2023

Zandvoort

There has been plenty of discussion about Aston Martin over the summer, generally about their decline in performance since Canada. However, a podium finish for Alonso in Zandvoort changes the narrative across F1 news outlets – the now Spaniard believes a race win is possible.

Alonso’s infamous comment that “this is the last race without a podium” in Spain seemed somewhat cursed. The Canadian GP seemed to be a business as usual, but the upgrades introduced in Montreal proved ineffective.

The British squad has spent the last few rounds trying to reverse its mistake, as evidenced by significant updates in Belgium and – most recently – The Netherlands.

Although a lack of dry running makes it difficult to draw any conclusions, there is clearly reason for optimism.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect for Aston this weekend, aside from the result, was Alonso’s speed on softs. For several laps before the final rain arrived, he was able to match the times set by Verstappen and Perez.

 

Alonso gave a fiery team radio across the line, stating: “We will win a race soon.”

Speaking to the media post-race, the Double World Champion gave a review of his race:

“Yes, today the car was really working really well. And yeah, I felt confident driving. I had trust in the car, which, obviously, in these conditions, you need that level of trust to push.

“And yeah, the car was fast in dry, it was fast on Inters, and probably our most competitive part was at the beginning of the race when it was just a few drops of rain. But we were still fast on the slick tyre.

“And yeah, we quickly switched to the Inters, so we could not capitalise on that. But we still made some moves – in Turn 3 at the start, on Alex and George, and also on Lando on lap two.

“So yeah, I was quite happy with the race, and it was one of those Sundays where you feel connected with the car, you feel in sync with the car.

“And everything you do, the car is just answering perfectly.”

Via Aston Martin social media.

Difficult weekends for McLaren, Ferrari and even Mercedes prove that – as in the first 12 rounds – predicting the battle behind Red Bull will be complicated.

In any case, Aston seems to have re-asserted itself as a contender.

Teams will be putting most of their resources into 2024, so avoiding errors and optimising set-up should be vital as the number of upgrades declines.

Red Bull and Verstappen are performing at a near-optimal level, but there is plenty of room for unpredictability amongst the drivers behind.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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