Fernando Alonso: “At Aston Martin everyone rides like motorcycles” | Formula 1 | Sports

This Saturday, just after qualifying, Carlos Sainz gave the key to finally understanding the trajectory that Aston Martin has followed in recent months. “We all know that his numbers, in the wind tunnel and in the simulator, are very good. In fact, I think one of the main problems they had was trying to contain their overexcitement. Then they came to Bahrain [en pretemporada] and they confirmed that they are in the fight with us”, said the Ferrari man from Madrid, this Friday, accepting the omens that placed the Silverstone (Great Britain) team as the second most competitive team at the moment, only behind Red Bull. , which circulates in another dimension.

Since he decided to leave Ferrari with a view to the 2015 season, Fernando Alonso has lived on the track like a caged tiger, limited first by the weakest McLaren in the history of the Woking company, and then by the idiosyncrasies of Alpine, a team very uncomfortable because of the political component that grips her. With his arrival at Aston Martin, most of the paddock He saw that movement as a desperate attempt to keep a seat on the World Cup grid, waiting for the championship to end up expelling him naturally due to a matter of age. However, his arrival at Aston Martin puts him back in an unimaginable position when he signed his contract eight months ago, at that Hungarian Grand Prix in which Sebastian Vettel announced his withdrawal.

“This is a dream come true. Eight months ago [cuando firmó] I would have said that we would not achieve any podium in this 2023, that hopefully we would achieve it in 2024″, Alonso acknowledged, absolutely exultant. “Everything has been advanced, because here we had the second best car, only behind Red Bull. The project is going very well and there is a great atmosphere. The energy that everyone gives off is tremendous, at the factory everyone rides like motorcycles”, added the two-time world champion with Renault (2005 and 2006). “You always hope to take a step back and come back to reality. But I think the performance is real. If we are fast in the next two races (Jeddah and Australia), 2023 will be a good year for us”, argued the Spaniard.

Under normal conditions, to say that Aston Martin has a chance of winning the championship is unrealistic at the moment. Basically due to the unquestionable superiority of Red Bull, which in the hands of Max Verstappen took 38 seconds from the first of the rest (Alonso). However, much more likely is that he meddles in the theoretical struggle that Ferrari and Mercedes must maintain to finish just behind the structure of the red buffalo. Above all, if the former do not solve their reliability problems and the extremely high degradation of tires caused by their SF-23, and the latter do not get the hang of a car that, apart from having stopped bouncing, continues to be the same. slower than last year. At this juncture, Aston Martin has opened a gap through which to poke its head, although now it remains to be seen what drift the troop of green cars follows, something that will be determined by the development of the prototype with the advance of the calendar. In this sense, it is important to take into account that the poor results of 2022 – seventh out of ten teams – play in their favor, since they grant them 50% use time in the wind tunnel when compared, for example, with Red Bull.

“The future looks good,” summed up Mike Krack, director of the sports car company with a license to kill. “The car is competitive, there is no doubt about that. Now we have to deal with its development. We are competing with the best, and they are used to maintaining a very high intensity in evolution”, added the executive, anxious for what appears on the horizon: in a few months the facilities that Aston Martin is building next door are expected to be finished. of its current factory, while next year the new wind tunnel should be ready.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.