Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin maximised the potential of its car with a seventh-place finish to conclude a difficult weekend for the team at the British Grand Prix

After being the slowest of the Mercedes-powered sides in qualifying, Alonso took advantage of an optimally timed Safety Car period to make his only stop of the race.

Although he dropped a place to the charging Sergio Perez on the restart, the Spaniard improved by two places from his grid slot to classify seventh come the chequered flag.

Asked if that was the best Aston Martin could have achieved at its home race, Alonso said: “Yes, we weren’t fast enough in any session on the weekend, so it was not different in the race.

“We struggled a little bit with the pace, but we maximised the strategy, we tried to stretch the stint on the Medium at the beginning, and then there was a Safety Car, we chose the Soft, because it was just short run to the end.

“I think it was a good strategy and thanks to all those calls I think we took seventh place that maybe a little bit higher than the pace that we had.”

After a remarkable run of six podium finishes in the first eight races of 2023, Aston Martin suffered a subpar showing in Spain

An extensive upgrade package returned Alonso to the podium rostrum in Canada a round later, but its AMR23 again lagged beneath its previous level in Austria.

Although the team was confident its lacklustre speed at the Red Bull Ring was track specific, its cars could only qualify eighth and 12th at Silverstone, with Alonso scoring the team’s only points on Sunday.

While Alonso concedes Aston Martin has been out-developed recently, the two-time champion insists that other factors are also responsible for the side not being able to maintain its early-season competitiveness.

“As we said yesterday, probably is a little bit of everything,” he acknowledged.

“Out developed a little bit in terms of few teams brought some significant upgrades lately. Track specific, I think here was not our best layout for the package that we have. We need to see also the tyres, obviously the first race that we have this new construction.

“So, things that maybe we need to analyse more in detail but, all in all, I think we saved a very difficult weekend. Hopefully in Hungary we are again competitive.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23 on the grid. 09.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.

One team who has made substantial strides lately is McLaren, who possessed the second-fastest car around Silverstone.

Lando Norris scored his first podium of the season, with team-mate Oscar Piastri recording his best finish in fourth to propel McLaren above Alpine into fifth position.

Alonso says he saw no point in attempting to defend against the faster McLaren, but hopes his car is in competitive enough shape to be back challenging at the front in Hungary. 

“They’ve been quicker whole weekend, so, when he was behind I knew that it was not worth spending too much time defending, he had more pace,” Alonso lamented.

“They were fast this weekend, so, I’m happy to see Lando as well on the podium and Lewis [Hamilton]. And let’s see in Hungary if we can come back to our normal pace.”

However, Alonso is not yet concerned about his former team getting involved in the battle for second between Aston, Merc and Ferrari.

“They [McLaren] are very fast,” he continued. “But they are a lot of points behind, so we should have enough pace to keep the distance with them.

“Also, it’s not that they will be always in the podium. You know, we are dividing all the points between all of us, so it’s difficult always to have a big run on anyone, so, with McLaren maybe in the Constructors we have enough advantage.

“But, obviously, we need to keep an eye. And with Mercedes and Ferrari things are going to be tight until the end.

“But this was with Austria one of the worst weekends I think for us so far and we saved quite well,” he summarised.

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