Alonso: Aston Martin ‘didn’t have a plan’ in Spanish GP
By Mat Coch
Monday 5th June, 2023 - 10:43pm
Fernando Alonso has admitted that Aston Martin “didn’t have a plan” in terms of strategy when it came to executing the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Spaniard finished seventh, one place behind team-mate Lance Stroll, for his worst result of what had previously been a superb 2023.
It followed a qualifying session in which he made a rare mistake in sliding off the track in slippery conditions, damaging the floor of his car in the process.
When it came to the race, however, the two-time F1 champion simply did not have the tools to compete.
“We didn’t have the pace, so that was the biggest problem,” said Alonso.
“It’s not that we were unlucky, or different strategies or anything like that.
“We were slow compared to the Mercedes as well on the soft [tyre], slow on the hard.
“We just concentrated on the Alpines, AlphaTauris, keeping up the pace with the Ferraris at the end.
“We outscored the Ferraris because they only scored with Carlos (Sainz, who was fifth) but we lost points to Mercedes. They did a better job.”
Strategically, Alonso revealed the team had no firm plan heading into the race, and instead reacted to events of the opening laps.
“At the beginning, we didn’t have a plan, to be honest, because we were not sure about the degradation,” he explained.
“The first stint, George [Russell] was so fast when he overtook me I think we changed our mind a little bit, and we didn’t want to run that close to the cars in front.
“We just tried to extend the first stint and by doing so we also extended the second.
“We knew our opportunity was in the last 15 laps of the race, but not enough to fight at the front, just to fight the midfield.”
Aston Martin has emerged as the most consistent challenger to Red Bull this season, with Alonso scoring five podiums.
The AMR23 has proved a versatile car, performing equally well in the fast sweeps of Saudi Arabia as the tight confines of Monaco.
Around Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, however, it was found.
“The track was not the best for us,” said Alonso. “From FP1, we were on a completely different set-up than what we predicted.
“So we have to work a lot during the weekend to be happy with the car. We were always happy from FP1 where here (Barcelona) we had to work.
“The upgrades, from the other people, I think maybe they didn’t show the full potential in Monaco, Miami – a street circuit – so here we saw that maybe they [Mercedes and Ferrari] are a bit stronger, but I’m not worried.
“There’s going to be better weekends and worse weekends, and we will have our opportunity.”
The Spanish GP performance comes off the back of Monaco where Alonso had a realistic chance of winning.
Earlier in the weekend, team boss Mike Krack admitted that post-race analysis suggested Alonso could have led the race had he opted for intermediate tyres rather than slicks as the rain began to fall.
Formula 1 moves next to the Canadian Grand Prix on July 16-18.