Alonso ‘leading by example’ – Aston Martin
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 1st April, 2023 - 1:00am
Team boss Mike Krack has hailed the impact Fernando Alonso has had on Aston Martin following his arrival.
Following the departure of four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel at the end of last season, the two-time title winner has comfortably filled the void.
The fact the team has developed a car that has thrust Alonso toward the front of the grid again has naturally played its part in the feel-good factor surrounding the Spaniard at present.
But the 41-year-old, in turn, has delivered by scoring podiums in each of the first two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Alonso, though, has clearly instilled a fervour into the team as his two third-place finishes have resulted in mechanics and engineers singing his name as he has stood alongside Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on each occasion.
“It was confirmation of his standing in the team,” said Krack. “He brought a lot of energy, a lot of positivity when he arrived.
“He is leading by example at all times. He’s there very early, he’s working really hard and it is this leading that everybody sees and grabs onto which gives an extra level of motivation.
“The singing of the name is also like confirmation for him that he has really bought a lot into the team.
“And it was the 100th podium for him, so I think it was also a nice way of celebrating it.”
Alonso ticks boxes in Melbourne
After Friday’s two practice sessions ahead of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park, Alonso finished the day with the second-quickest time.
That, however, came during an FP2 affected by rain after just 15 minutes, meaning the timesheet was barely representative given the lack of soft-tyre running.
From Alonso’s perspective, he is now expecting a far busier final practice session ahead of qualifying than would ordinarily have been the case.
“In FP1 we concentrated on some test items that we wanted to tick the box and then in FP2 it was just a 20-minute session only,” said Alonso.
“So still some jobs to do tomorrow, especially on the tyres, into the race, some long runs or something that we were obviously missing today.
“But so far the car seems to be behaving well, so let’s see tomorrow.”
The forecast is due to be dry, which Alonso has stated he would prefer, given the tricky nature of wet conditions around what is effectively a street circuit.
“We’ve only driven this car in dry conditions in Jeddah and in Bahrain,” said Alonso.
“A dry race will be welcome on our side, but I think we should be ready for all conditions.”
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