Fernando Alonso made it three Formula 1 podiums in a row for Aston Martin at the Australian GP, but a key Aston Martin figure says they were hoping to further capitalise on the late restarts. After third-placed Alonso was taken out by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in the chaotic Lap 57 restart, the race running order was reset to the previous grid order, meaning the Aston Martin driver had his third place reinstated and completed the final Safety Car lap in the same position, behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. The final red flag and restart came as a relief for the team, who saw both Alonso and teammate Lance Stroll eliminated in the Lap 57 restart. Without a red flag, the team would have likely scored no points. Speaking in an Aston Martin Q&A interview, Sporting Director Andy Stevenson believed that the FIA ultimately made the right calls in Melbourne. “There was a bit of uncertainty, but the FIA got it right,” said Stevenson. “They’ve learned from things that have happened over the last few years, and they managed the Australian Grand Prix extremely well. They are the only ones with all the information and people need to remember that. “None of the people who were disagreeing with the red flag in Australia had all information about the condition of the safety barriers, what was happening around the circuit, and where the safety vehicles and doctors were. No one did, except the FIA.” Aston Martin had sights on more The second red flag of the race – waved for Kevin Magnussen’s tag with the wall – resulted in the Lap 57 restart. Prior to Alonso’s run-in with Sainz, the team had been keen to exploit the opportunity and gain places. Stevenson added that the team had visions of Sebastian Vettel’s late-race promotion from third to second at the dramatic 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in their minds. “We saw the second red flag and standing start in Australia as an opportunity,” Stevenson added. “We had the same thing with Sebastian Vettel a couple of years ago at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Some team members wanted the race stopped and not restarted but Seb was saying, ‘No, we’ve got to get this race restarted.’ He saw it as an opportunity and, in the end, we went from third to second. “In Australia, we could see that both Fernando and Lance wanted a restart and you think to yourself, ‘OK, we could be on for an even better result here.’ Obviously, it didn’t quite work out that way, at least not immediately after the restart, but it was certainly exciting.”

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