Fernando Alonso asserts that it’s incorrect to base Aston Martin’s 2023 Formula 1 season on the mindset used in “football” where “only the last result” counts.
Aston Martin capitalised on its decision to retain the downwash sidepod solution the team had switched to early last year to initially produce a competitive front-running AMR23 car, which Alonso utilised to accrue six podiums in the opening eight races.
But amid Ferrari and Mercedes eventually adopting a version of that philosophy, Alonso has only been able to add a further single top-three race finish since his storming start.
Meanwhile, McLaren’s introduction of a revised car in Austria has also enabled it to upstage Aston Martin, relegating the Silverstone squad to fifth in the standings.
Aston Martin’s endeavours to reverse the “side effects” inherited from past upgrades caused more complications, with Alonso absent from Q3 in the last two rounds.
But asked if the extreme contrast in results was comparable to his experience within the team, Alonso retorted: “No, I think it has been more consistent feeling and season than what maybe the results are showing. I think we’ve been balancing always the ups and also the downs. We’ve been always very focused on the performance of the car and tried to get better as a team.
“Two years ago, this organisation was 250 people and now we are just a few points away from the very top teams in the Constructors’ Championship and tasting the podium for a few times already this year. We have this new factory as well, a lot of new people that came to the team.
“I think around 200 points more than last year. So it has been an incredible 2023 campaign for Aston Martin.
“I know that we are more and more like football here and only the last result seems to count but we cannot forget where we come from and what the project is about so very proud of this season so far.”
Regardless of whether Aston Martin can end the season on a positive note, Alonso believes that the entire year has been an important one for the British marque’s long-term aspiration of becoming title contenders.
“Hopefully we can finish on a high; in the remaining races we can taste the podium one more time at least and then go into 2024 I think with a lot more confident than this year,” he added.
“I think we started the winter just hoping that the project was taking the right direction after a difficult 2022. We learn a lot of things throughout the season, a lot of things also off-track, development on the car during the season, direction of development.
“So it has been a very important championship not only for the results itself, also for the team to get a contender for the future. So it has been a very important season and I’m very proud and happy.”