Alonso secured fifth place in the Spa race, surpassing both George Russell’s Mercedes and Lando Norris’ McLaren, which managed to finish the race.
On Saturday, the Spaniard experienced immense frustration as he only managed to qualify in 15th place during the shootout. This was due to a red flag caused by his teammate Lance Stroll, followed by his own early spin-off during the sprint.
During the main event, he quickly moved up from ninth to sixth place on the first lap. He managed to gain an additional position when his fellow countryman Carlos Sainz dropped back due to damage caused by an accident.
Alonso commented to Motorsport.com about his impressive performance on Sunday, expressing his belief that the car felt exceptionally speedy.
“The team once again performed admirably in terms of strategy and pitstops. We were able to gain a few positions yesterday, despite not completing the race. Moreover, I felt that the car felt more familiar today.”
“After Hungary and Silverstone, we had some reflections. Consequently, the team decided to make several adjustments to the car’s setup. Today, it proved to be a worthwhile decision as the car felt more balanced and competitive. Overall, I am pleased with the outcome, which provides a positive momentum for the summer.”
Alonso acknowledged that achieving perfection during a challenging weekend affected by rain was not a simple task.
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, in Parc Ferme
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“I certainly felt more competitive compared to the previous few events,” he stated. “It was a challenging weekend to find my rhythm, with the wet qualifying and the track conditions constantly changing. Therefore, I didn’t have much experience in dry conditions.”
“I believe that, with the exception of McLaren, we all used a setup suitable for dry conditions, or somewhat dry. Throughout the weekend, we never experienced consistent conditions for two consecutive laps. The track kept getting progressively drier until we eventually switched to slick tires. This is typical for qualifying sessions, as the sprint format always presents such challenges.”
“And yes, I had a stroke of luck in the beginning. I managed to gain a few positions before reaching Eau Rouge, and I was slightly concerned that we might lose ground and not have a strong enough pace to maintain our position.”
“It was a positive experience as the car felt exceptionally speedy today. We managed to stay ahead of a Mercedes and a McLaren, placing ourselves in a competitive position. This is certainly encouraging news prior to the summer break.”
Alonso, who celebrated his 42nd birthday on Saturday, admitted that experience is extremely valuable in situations like sprint weekends.
“I’m almost 43 now, you could say!” he playfully remarked. “I believe individuals have already noticed that there isn’t a significant difference between being 41 or 25. It’s more about your mindset, your drive, and how you approach the weekend.”
“I cannot reword.”
Looking back at the initial portion of the 2023 season, he expressed, “Remarkable. The first half of the season has been a dream come true. We currently hold the third position in the constructors’ championship, surpassing Ferrari. Similarly, we are tied for third place in the drivers’ championship alongside Lewis. It seemed unimaginable during our time in Bahrain.”