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Fernando Alonso: “Our feet remain on the ground and hard work is needed to maintain this start”

Fernando Alonso insists everyone at the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team are keeping their feet on the ground despite a stunning season opening Bahrain Grand Prix that saw the Spaniard secure a podium finish.

Alonso was one of the positive surprises to come out of the opening weekend of the season, with the AMR23 showing strong pace throughout.  He qualified inside the top six and made some good late passes on Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz Jr. to join the two Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers on the podium.

Despite this, Alonso says Aston Martin are not yet certain where their performance genuinely is compared to the teams at the front of the field, and it will not be until after this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the following Australian Grand Prix that they will have a better idea of where they are.

However, the Spaniard says Aston Martin are going to continue to work hard to ensure their momentum from Bahrain continues this weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“The car felt very good in Bahrain, and we enjoyed our weekend scoring our first podium of the season,” said Alonso.  “But we have now shifted all our focus to this weekend and Jeddah.

“It will be a very different challenge there as it is a completely different circuit to what we experienced in the opening race. We spent two weeks in Bahrain, and all became very familiar with the circuit and conditions so the learning curve from this Friday will be a lot steeper.

“Realistically I do not think it will be until after Australia that we will know better where the overall performance stands, as by then we will have had three very different race weekends on varied circuits in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

“Our feet remain on the ground and hard work is needed to maintain this start and try to get another strong result this weekend.”

“I was really pleased with our performance in Bahrain” – Lance Stroll

Team-mate Lance Stroll arrives in Saudi Arabia on the back of a sixth-place finish in Bahrain, with his performance last time out even more remarkable due to the fact the race was only a few weeks after the Canadian damaged his wrists and foot in a cycling crash.

Stroll was able to drive through the pain at the Bahrain International Circuit and was able to score good points for Aston Martin, something he is aiming to do again this weekend. 

The one-time polesitter and three-time podium finisher says the team must be in a position to capitalise on any opportunity that presents itself, particularly if the safety car is needed for a third consecutive Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I was really pleased with our performance in Bahrain, so we need to do our best to bring that positive momentum into the second race of the year in Saudi Arabia,” said Stroll.  “As always, the first few races of the season are about learning the intricacies of the new car.

“The circuit in Jeddah is completely different to that in Bahrain, so it offers us an invaluable opportunity to collect more data and deepen our understanding of the AMR23.

“Jeddah Corniche Circuit is an incredibly fast track, and the fastest street circuit on the calendar, so it is great fun to drive but also a real challenge. We have seen Safety Cars on both occasions that we have raced in Saudi Arabia, so we need to ensure we are ready to capitalise on any opportunities that come our way.”

Lance Stroll is aiming for another strong result in Saudi Arabia – Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team


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