Fernando Alonso says his Aston Martin team are profiting from Ferrari being a more inconsistent outfit now than when he was driving for the Italian marque.
Formula 1’s most successful side is currently entering the 15th season since it last won a title, and that barren streak looks set to continue with the Scuderia languishing a distant fourth in the Constructors’ Championship after five rounds in 2023.
Alonso came closest to delivering success back to Maranello since Ferrari scooped the Constructors’ crown in 2008, taking two title fights down to the wire in 2010 and ’12.
However, Ferrari is yet to contest a championship that deep into a season since, with inconsistent car development, strategy errors and reliability troubles being pinpointed as the three key areas where it has come up short.
Although Ferrari lacked the competitive edge throughout Alonso’s five-year stint to truly challenge a dominant Red Bull side on raw speed, the Spaniard asserts that the Italian squad’s ability to be slick operationally was an integral part to it sustaining a title challenge until the final round twice.
“With Ferrari, we were always there every year. We never made mistakes and fought for the World Cup until the last race on two occasions,” he proclaimed to Sky Sports.
“Fortunately, for me and also for Aston Martin, there is more inconsistency in Maranello than now than in the seasons in which I was there.”
Alonso departed Ferrari at the end of 2014 following a disastrous start to the turbo-hybrid engine era that saw it go winless in a season for the first time in 21 years.
The two-time champion returned to McLaren, but after four years of battling uncompetitive and unreliable machinery, Alonso opted to retire from F1 at the end of 2018.
However, he was soon back, announcing in May 2020 that he would be embarking upon a return with the rebadged Alpine team, owned by the Renault Group where he won his two World Championships.
Despite a comeback season that was spent battling away in the midfield, Alonso enjoyed a return to an F1 podium for the first time in seven years at the Qatar Grand Prix.
With the birth of new regulations for 2022, Alpine moved up two places in the pecking order to reside only behind the top three teams by the season’s end – but the Anglo-French outfit’s failure to commit to the longer terms Alonso wanted on a new deal led to a shock switch to Aston Martin for 2023.
While Alonso has typically often found himself making the wrong moves at the wrong time, his latest, and potentially final, career transfer appears to have been perfectly timed with Aston Martin catapulting up the order to be a front-running force.
Although Red Bull has dominated early proceedings, the AMR23 has been the standout car amongst the chasing pack, enabling Alonso to score four podiums in five races.
Meanwhile, Ferrari, having emerged out of the blocks at the start of last year with the fastest package, has only scooped a solitary podium to sit 24 points behind Aston Martin.