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Fernando Alonso ready to ‘have some fun’ during Las Vegas GP weekend

Both the F1 2023 drivers' championship and constructors' title have been won by Red Bull

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Fernando Alonso expects to enjoy a more relaxed 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend following his superb third place for Aston Martin in the Brazilian GP.

After only finishing once on the podium in the first half of 2023, Alonso finally returned to the rostrum at the Brazilian GP, finishing third following a stunning late-race battle with Sergio Perez.

Alonso’s stunning drive secured his eighth podium, making 2023 his most successful season in F1 since 2013, where he finished on the podium nine times and was runner-up in the drivers championship behind Sebastian Vettel.

“It is different because, every time we came here in the past, [it] was on holidays, and just to enjoy the city, and now we are here for racing,” explained Alonso to the press.

“Things become a little bit more professional and serious tomorrow, but, at the same time, we want to have some fun this weekend obviously [with] both championships, drivers’ and constructors’, they finished a few races ago with Max and Red Bull winning. 

“So now it’s up to everybody to enjoy this final part of the season after the three consecutive races, Austin, Mexico and Brazil, it’s good to have a few free practices to build the momentum into the weekend and the confidence, especially needed here in a street circuit.

“And yeah, looking forward but not too much pressure, let’s say.”

Track likely to get grippier in the run-up to race day

Formula 1’s first visit to Las Vegas since 1982 promises to be a race weekend like no other, with off-track razzamatazz colliding with tricky on-track conditions.

Las Vegas’ potential unpredictability is due to a lack of prior on-track running on a circuit based around the city’s streets and cold ambient temperatures because of on-track action at night.

With no support races this weekend, the opening practice session set to take place on Thursday night will likely test the drivers’ tyre management skills as they seek to gain knowledge of the circuit.

“I think we have to run first and then see how the car behaves and the tyre behaves. I think it could be that with this long straight, the tyres they lose a little bit of temperature,” added Alonso. 

“So, we’ve been facing a little bit of tyre overheating on the last three events. And maybe here it’s a little bit the opposite. Maybe some cars that are struggling on long run pace, here they are good because they can keep the tyres in the window and things like that. 

“I think tomorrow we will have some answers, the amount of track evolution during the weekend it’s going to be bigger than normal, so that will challenge everyone.

“I guess we will not have two laps the same [this] weekend, every lap of the track will be a little bit better than the lap before.”

“So, we will have to adapt to that changeable grip, so it’s going be a challenge for everyone.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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