Alonso declares P5 at F1 Belgian GP a “good boost” before summer break: “The car felt more normal”

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Photo credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Despite barely predictable conditions throughout the weekend, Fernando Alonso finished the first part of 2023 on a high note, taking advantage of mishaps to move from ninth to fifth in the opening laps and keeping pace enough to hold that P5 to the finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, his best result since the Austrian Grand Prix a month ago.

Two of those places were courtesy of a scrap that ultimately knocked out both Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz, but Alonso found the speed that seemed to have escaped Aston Martin in the last few races.

“I was a little bit worried if we would fall back and the pace would not be good enough to keep that position. But it was good today, the car felt fast, we kept one Mercedes behind, one McLaren behind, so we were in the mix and that’s good news before the summer break.”

An early pit stop from Yuki Tsunoda, who had worked up to sixth by lap 10, forced Aston Martin to adjust their strategy. “We had some pace still on the tyres, but I think [when] Tsunoda stopped, he was just right behind us and we didn’t want to lose more position, so we had to do that.” The move paid off, as the Alpha Tauri never advanced past the Aston Martin, and ultimately Tsunoda finished tenth.

As for Alonso, who still sits third in the championship by just one point ahead of Lewis Hamilton, after the race he felt the result was indicative of changes made after subpar finishes the previous few races.

“I think today the car felt more normal. We had a few thoughts after Hungary, after Silverstone, so the team was making a few setup changes also to the car, and I think it paid off today. The car felt more normal, more competitive, so yes, happy and a good boost for summer.”