Fernando Alonso has pinpointed Ferrari and Williams as Aston Martin’s main threat for a podium place at the Italian Grand Prix.
While Red Bull has stormed to victory at all 13 rounds to this point, the pecking order behind the reigning World Champions has continuously changed throughout 2023.
Alongside Alonso’s Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren have all taken the chequered flag behind the victorious Red Bull of Max Verstappen in recent rounds.
Alonso predicts that Ferrari’s strong showing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit prior to the summer break will stand them in good stead to be competitive on home ground, but he has also listed Williams as a credible threat for a top-three finish on Sunday.
The Spaniard believes Williams’ straight-line speed superiority will enable its slippery FW45 package to excel around the low-downforce circuit configuration at Monza.
“I think two teams in our numbers will stand out here,” Alonso outlined.
“One is Williams, with the top speed that they’ve shown through the season. And the other one will be Ferrari, because in Canada, these long straights, short corners, chicane, and things like that. They are super-fast.
“So yeah, those two teams will be, I think, the biggest challenge for us in terms of competitiveness. And yeah, they could fight for the podium between them.”
Having scored six podium finishes in the first eight races at the start of the year, Aston Martin failed to finish higher than fifth in the following four rounds before the summer shutdown.
However, Alonso returned the Silverstone side to the podium last Sunday at Zandvoort, claiming “We will win one race soon” on the radio on the cooldown lap.
When asked if he had developed a newfound belief that a victory was coming following Aston Martin’s return to form, Alonso responded: “No, but there are a couple of weekends where we seem a little bit closer. And I don’t know, I felt that in Zandvoort, or let’s say the three-second places, we were close to the win.
“Obviously, we are fighting against an outstanding Max and a great goal, unbreakable. And yet, we are getting close sometimes, and we just need that extra step in terms of performance, in terms of luck, in terms of if you start at the right time, or whatever.
“So yeah, I thought, let’s be positive. After Zandvoort, in the radio, every time I open the radio, I think that I talk with my engineer. I keep forgetting that I talk to everyone in the world. I would like that those comments are private. But yeah, that was my feeling.
“In the remaining races, hopefully we can be in that position to fight again and have a chance to be side by side, I guess, with Max. At that point, maybe we’ll take some extra risks.”