Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin have turned a corner with their car development for the 2023 Formula 1 season and beyond as he secured third place at the 2023 Brazilian GP.
Aston Martin started 2023 as Red Bull‘s clear closest challengers and took six podiums in the first eight races, but have slipped behind Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren more recently and Brazil was just Alonso‘s second trophy since the summer break.
But the United States and Mexico City GPs in the fortnight before Sao Paulo marked Aston Martin‘s nadir – totalling just four points and three Q1 eliminations between Alonso and Lance Stroll.
“It’s very nice, I think we’ve been struggling for a few months but the last two races were quite painful,” Alonso told the media. “We had to experiment a little bit on a few things on the car to really understand the direction that we were going and we have to go for next year’s car as well.
“So those races were painful, especially Mexico we were very slow as a team, as a performance. But it was nice to see everyone in the team very focused, the determination in the team was so nice from the outside to see and to go deep in the analysis and get back stronger here in Interlagos.
“And I think there’s a couple of things that have been understood inside the team and the direction to go and we had some hopes for this race that proved to be right and now why not be competitive in the last two.”
Alonso can’t wait for Vegas
Alonso did concede that Aston Martin might struggle to replicate their podium heroics of Interlagos even if they can repeat their improved performance level.
Starting third and fourth after a weather-affected qualifying, that improved further when Charles Leclerc crashed from second on the formation lap while Mercedes were strangely off-form in Brazil and Sergio Perez started out of position too.
However, Alonso still more than earned his podium with a 15-lap roadblock of Perez while Stroll‘s fifth place solidified the team’s best points haul since the Australian GP at the start of April.
“It was a big concern, no doubt for the last few races and maybe this final part of the championship,” Alonso added. “And now I cannot wait to go to Vegas. So it’s a very different energy when you have a performing car.”