Fernando Alonso has revealed that being eliminated in Q1 was the ‘maximum’ he could achieve in the Aston Martin during qualifying for the 2023 United States Grand Prix.
Aston Martin have seen momentum from the start of the 2023 F1 season wane in recent rounds, with McLaren breathing down their necks in the constructors’ standings.
Indeed, whilst the Woking-based team will see Lando Norris start from the front row for Sunday’s race, Aston Martin will have both of their drivers on a recovery mission with Alonso set to line up in 17th and team-mate Lance Stroll in 19th.
Indeed, Alonso hinted as much after his session had come to an end, confirming that it was much as they could have hoped for from qualifying on Friday at the Circuit of the Americas.
“No it was the maximum,” said Alonso, when asked if qualifying could have yielded a better result.
“The lap was not ideal – the out lap especially the traffic was very bad to manage. I think I crossed the line within one second of the limit so I started the lap too close to the cars in front.
“So that didn’t help but that lap felt OK and the pace was maybe not good enough to get into Q2. Let’s see tomorrow if we can do a good Sprint because Sunday’s race is heavily compromised now.”
Alonso admits to no feel for the car
Alonso was also asked whether he had no feel of the car yet this weekend, with less practice available in this latest sprint event and an upgrade also on the Aston Martin car.
“Yeah sure, sure,” Alonso said. “We should go back and complete the day completely. Starting from the morning we had a terrible session.
“Lance didn’t complete any laps, I only did six or seven quality laps with the new package. Too many unknowns in terms of how to operate the package and the new car so I think we went a little bit blind into qualifying and obviously we see the result.
“So nothing we can do now, we are in Parc Ferme. We use these weekends as a test for next year as well, even if they are painful, so let’s see what we can learn in the remaining sessions.”