Fernando Alonso believes that Aston Martin might have won the Monaco and Dutch Grand Prix last year. The Silverstone-based outfit had a significant upswing when Alonso arrived, coinciding with his move from Alpine to Aston Martin during the winter.
With this encouraging start under his belt, Alonso looks back on the Monaco Grand Prix as a turning point when victory was within reach. The team's poor choice to pit for wet tyres cost them valuable time in comparison to eventual victor Max Verstappen, who prudently shifted to intermediates as the rain started to fall.
Aston Martin had another opportunity a few races later at a rain-soaked race at Zandvoort. Even if the team's performance took a brief drop, Alonso was still in the hunt, putting pressure on Verstappen during a late restart. Alonso was a couple of seconds behind the winner when the chase ended.
“I think it was possible,” Alonso said. “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.”
F1: Alonso Reveals Strengths and Weaknesses of Aston Martin’s 2023 season
Alonso broke into Aston Martin's season-long performance, highlighting the team's achievements and shortcomings. Aston Martin made an amazing leap from seventh to fifth in the constructors' standings. Throughout the season, the Spanish driver was instrumental in the team's eight podium finishes.
Alonso said: “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.
“The strength was tyre degradation; I think Sundays the car is very strong always. The execution of the strategy and 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,” he added.
F1: Fernando Alonso Praises Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso emphasises the importance of Aston Martin's 2024 vehicle development. For Alonso, finishing fourth in the drivers' championship is his first top-five result since 2013. He managed eight podium finishes, helping Aston Martin succeed. Notably, Alonso led the team's scoring. Lance Stroll, his teammate, placed 10th in the championship with 74 points.
Looking ahead to 2024, Alonso stresses the importance of Aston Martin building a more competitive car than the AMR23. He sees the recent season as a basis for next year's competition. Alonso is positive about the future, citing the many changes at Silverstone, which he highlighted throughout the season.
Alonso is dissatisfied with their fifth-place finish in the constructors' standings after starting the season in second. However, a top-five finish exceeded his expectations, highlighting the team's progress and potential for advancement.