Alonso: Aston Martin F1 talent and knowledge ‘unprecedented’

Fernando Alonso has hailed the talent and knowledge of his new F1 team Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso has hailed the talent and knowledge of his new F1 team Aston Martin

Recognising the project in the making at Aston Martin, Alonso made what appeared to be at the time a surprising move in the summer of last year by quitting Alpine and switching to the Silverstone-based organisation.

Following the second practice session for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Alonso’s move now appears justified.

Whilst one 60-minute outing has to be taken in context, the fact Alonso was quickest at the end of the first soft-tyre qualifying simulation run of the campaign has only served to underline the suggestions over the past few days that the AMR23 is fast.

Suggested to Alonso that the car was the best he had driven “out of the box” over the last 10 years, he replied: “I don’t know.

“It feels good to drive. I would lie if I said if it was not feeling good, but everything is relative to what the other teams are doing.

“You can feel very good in one car, but if there are three or four cars faster than you then it doesn’t feel good any more. Let’s see where we are.

“We have to be proud of the step we have done. It’s been a very intense two or three months’ work in the factory.

“We’ve spent endless hours in the simulator, in the meetings, trying to anticipate what problems we could face in this first couple of races.

“But the knowledge this team has, the talent this team has is probably unprecedented. That’s something that is very encouraging for the future.”

Alonso rules out pole shot

Despite topping the timesheet with a lap of 1:30.907s, 0.169s ahead of Red Bull’s two-time champion Max Verstappen, Alonso has dismissed the hope he could claim pole position.

Suggested to the 41-year-old he would be disappointed if he did not claim pole, he said: “No, not at all. I’m not thinking that high.

“I don’t know exactly what position will be a good one for us. After testing, we were thinking to be in Q3 with both cars, to score as many points as possible in these first couple of races, and try not to make any mistakes.

“It’s very easy to make a mistake. It’s not the same for P12, P14 than fighting for the top-five positions because the pressure and adrenaline are different.

“There are a lot of things that we as a team have to grow together in this process. I expect that we will probably make some mistakes, I will maybe make some mistakes.

“It’s a completely new team, new procedures, so we have to be with out feet on the ground.

“The target has to be fighting for the championship in the long term. I don’t think this year, yet.”

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