Fernando Alonso is hopeful that Aston Martin can take the “next step” and fight for victories in the 2024 Formula 1 season.
Alonso’s winter switch to Aston Martin from Alpine coincided with the former developing into a consistent front-running contender, allowing the Spaniard to open the campaign with six podiums in the first eight races.
However, the Silverstone-based squad has regressed rapidly since its storming start to the year, recording only one further top-three finish in the past eight rounds and dropping to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
But Alonso, who has also surrendered third in the standings to Lewis Hamilton, contends that Aston Martin’s early-season momentum saw the team punch above its means.
The two-time World Champion, though, asserts that Aston Martin wants to progress further and be a challenger to the dominant Red Bull side for race wins next year.
“To be honest, fighting for podiums and things like that, I think that was too optimistic,” Alonso told Channel 4.
“But we were in a very strong position in Bahrain with a car that was working very well and it was a nice surprise to have such a competitive car,” the Spaniard mentioned.
“So now we want more, we want to take the next step, which is to fight to win races. Red Bull was very dominant this year, but next year, hopefully, we can take that step.”
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23. 23.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan, Qualifying Day.
Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack accepts that the side turning around its floundering prospects in the remaining six rounds of the season is “very important”.
Asked if it was crucial Aston Martin put an end to its ongoing slump, Krack responded: “Yeah, I 100%. agree. This is very important. It’s a bit of the opposite of last year.
“If you have a good start, and then others are overtaking you, it is much more difficult for morale than if you do it vice versa. And that is something that, for us, it’s very, very important to turn the trend around.
“Whatever that leads to finally we have to see, but this trend has to be turned.”
Having regularly been Red Bull’s nearest threat at the beginning of the year, Aston Martin has since been overhauled by Ferrari, Mercedes and even McLaren, who now reside only 49 points behind in fifth place.
Krack is convinced that Aston Martin has been outdeveloped after its rivals got on top of the problems that stymied its competitiveness earlier in the year.
“We need to look in terms of ranking, but others had more problems at that time than we had,” he acknowledged.
“So, it’s something that we need to work on for the races to come. You need to have a car that works everywhere. And this we are not having at the moment.”
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