Fernando Alonso has criticised Pirelli’s decision to introduce a new construction of tyres for the remainder of the 2023 season.
Formula 1’s official tyre supplier pushed ahead with its plans to unveil more robust tyre compounds at the British Grand Prix in order to counteract the ever-increasing downforce and speeds of the 2023 cars.
Aston Martin suffered its worst points return of the year to date at Silverstone as Alonso could only muster seventh place from ninth on the grid, with team-mate Lance Stroll classified outside of the points positions.
Alonso has complained about the decision to alter the tyres mid-season, having lost out when a similar change was made during the 2013 campaign whilst at Ferrari.
When asked if the new tyres had been a negative influence on Aston Martin, Alonso said: “We don’t know. Obviously it is still one factor that we still need to analyse a little bit more in detail in the next few races.
“I’m not a fan of changing the rules in the middle of a championship,” he continued. “In sport, you know, you change the balls in the middle of the tennis tournament or something like that, and it’s what happens when we change tyres here, we change the rules in the middle of a Formula One World Championship.
“But you know, at the end of the day, is the same for everybody again, so we just need to understand the tyre the best we can, and hopefully extract the maximum.
“If there is any change? As I said, we’re still not 100 per cent sure. We need [a] couple of races to confirm anything. So far, they look very similar but we need to wait and see.”
Having capitalised on Aston Martin’s resurgence as a front-running force to scoop six podium finishes in the first eight races of the year, Alonso has not been a fixture in the top three at three of the past four rounds.
However, the two-time champion is confident that the slower-speed nature of the Hungaroring will enable Aston Martin to showcase its early-season form once again.
“I think because the layout of the track and the characteristics are a little bit more similar to the circuits that we did perform well at so far this year, and I think high-speed corners, long straights are not maybe the strength of our package,” he explained. “And I think Austria and Silverstone were a clear example of those.
“So yeah, hopefully here, we can come back to a stronger performance, even though our main competitors, they improved their packages, and they will be very strong as well here. So it’s going to be difficult, but hopefully good fun.”
Aston Martin’s recent dip has seen it lose ground on Mercedes in the battle for second in the Constructors’ standings, dropping 22 points behind its engine manufacturer.
But the Silverstone marque remains a healthy 24 points ahead of Ferrari, who are a further 98 points clear of McLaren in fifth.
Meanwhile, Alonso still retains third place in the Drivers’ standings, but old adversary Lewis Hamilton is only 16 points adrift.
The Spaniard, 41, asserts Aston Martin still has its eye on finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship – but Alonso acknowledges it will be a tough fight for the remainder of the year.
“It’s going to be a tight battle until the end,” he accepted. “So yeah, let’s see what is the final position.
“We also forget that behind us there are some strong competitors and very fast teams and drivers. Ferrari and McLaren now, so we’re still P3 in the Championship and we aim to finish P2 but with the feet in the ground, and knowing that it’s going to be a tight battle until the end.”