Fernando Alonso has revealed that a trip to the gravel gave the Aston Martin driver floor damage and contributed to a worse than expected result in qualifying for the 2023 Spanish GP.
It was an exciting qualifying session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the chance to line-up alongside Max Verstappen on the front-row was anyone’s to seize following an error by Sergio Perez.
Alongside the Red Bull driver, Charles Leclerc and George Russell suffered surprisingly early exits in Q1 and Q2, as seven different teams went on to occupy for the first seven grid spots; including McLaren and Haas F1.
“It was a mistake,” Alonso said to the media, “I went onto the damp part of the circuit in the second sector because I lost the car, and it was costly because that gravel really destroys the floor.
“It hurts even more because it was the out-lap because I was not even pushing, so yeah, I’m disappointed with my performance today so I hope I can do better on Sunday.”
The damage affected his performance as he was out-qualified by his teammate for the first time the season, and could see his 24-point lead over Lewis Hamilton eaten into at the end of the race.
Alonso had showed a promising start to the weekend, being close to Verstappen through the free-practice sessions but the pace of the Aston Martin appeared to have slipped away as he was 12th in Q1, and eighth in Q2.
Work to do for Alonso
Many fans had found omens in the recurring theme of the number 33 related to the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix weekend and the driver.
But in his home race, Alonso will have to charge through the field to reward his fans with a podium spot with difficult opposition ahead of him including a Ferrari, a Mercedes, Lance Stroll‘s Aston Martin and an Alpine.
The veteran will also need to be wary of Perez behind as the Mexican also looks to scythe through the pack to hunt down Verstappen.