While Aston Martin are delivering beyond all expectations so far in F1 2023, Fernando Alonso highlighted that this means the team is struggling to match the development rate of their rivals.
Aston Martin are certainly a team with grand plans, title success being their ultimate goal, and it was this ambition which convinced Alonso to leave Alpine behind and strike a multi-year deal to join the Silverstone-based squad.
Few would have expected last season’s P7 finishers to emerge as the second-strongest constructor of F1 2023, but that is what Aston Martin have done.
Alonso has featured on the podium five times in the opening six rounds, his P2 in Monaco last time out the cream of the crop, with the Spaniard sitting P3 in the Drivers’ Championship, just 12 points behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez a position up the road.
Aston Martin meanwhile hold P2 in the Constructors’ Championship, a single point clear of Mercedes.
The development war is truly now ramping up though for F1 2023, Mercedes having introduced a heavily-revised W14 in Monaco, while this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix is set to mark the introduction of major upgrades at Ferrari.
And Alonso believes this is putting Aston Martin’s immaturity in terms of experience in the upper echelons of the grid on full display, in-season development being an area of their game which they must “speed up” in future to hang with the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari.
“We have some new parts. I’m not sure exactly what, you will see it on the documents that the FIA is releasing (on Friday),” Alonso told reporters ahead of his home race.
“I think front wing, there is some modification there, and we’re bringing always new parts to the car. Some of them are just circuit-specific, sometimes it’s just an improvement in lap time.
“I’m happy with how we are approaching every race, there is something always new on our car, try to keep up the pace with the top teams.
“I think we’re still growing in that area of the team, we found ourselves in a very competitive place this year, that we didn’t expect, so I think we still need to speed up things.
“I think Ferrari is already two floors into this season, Mercedes obviously with a completely new car in Monaco and more upgrades here, Red Bull – Baku package and another one here.
“So we understand that we are not in that position yet, but we stay humble, we stay delivering the job on Sundays and try to score more points than them.”
The Spanish Grand Prix is actually the scene of Alonso’s most recent victory to date in Formula 1, that coming all the way back in 2013 during his Ferrari days.
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