Fernando Alonso has said Aston Martin‘s lockout of the second row in qualifying for the Brazilian GP was a much-needed result after a series of disappointing races.
Despite starting off the 2023 season at the second-best team on the grid, Aston Martin have fallen off the pace significantly as McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes have all jumped ahead in the development race.
Alonso secured a number of podiums in the first half of the season, but has struggled to consistently place in the top positions since the summer, while teammate Lance Stroll has had more serious troubles which have led to speculation about whether he will return for 2024.
However, the team were back in the top spots once again in Interlagos, as Stroll and Alonso took third and fourth respectively on the grid for the grand prix in a rain-disrupted qualifying session.
“Yea, we needed it. I think the last two grand prix we were a little bit experimenting, starting from the pitlane and all these kinds of things,” Alonso told F1TV after the session.
“So we needed a nice result here in Brazil for both cars to keep up some hope in the team and prove that we understood a few things and we are very competitive, so this proves we know what we are doing and I am happy with that.”
The storm conditions which appeared suddenly during Q3 may have saved Aston Martin’s top positions for the race, with the team’s decision to go out early in the session helping them avoid the worst of the rain, unlike some other runners.
But Alonso said his main focus was to keep up the momentum from qualifying and look for a clean race in hopefully brighter conditions for both the Sprint and grand prix.
“My focus is just a clean weekend, a good Sprint tomorrow and race, and on Sunday we obviously have a very good position to start the race,” Alonso said.
“Maybe no more rain, it was only today the biggest day, so hope it’s a sunny day so people can enjoy more.”