Alonso: Aston Martin is working on understanding the “track specific” performance inconsistency

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Heading into Aston Martin’s home race in Silverstone, Fernando Alonso reflected on the team’s performance in the recent rounds, as well as his ongoing effort to achieve an optimal feeling in the car.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s still an ongoing process, to get better and more comfortable in the car together with Lance, obviously, because we both have to be in agreement on what we want in terms of power steering, front suspension, all these kinds of things, because it’s obviously inside the cost cap, so we need to have one spec for both,” Alonso told the media.

“At the moment I think we are quite happy, to be honest. Maybe there are still small tweaks that we can think about for the long term or into next year, let’s say, but I think we are quite okay, we made a small improvement, I think it was back in Miami. And that was another step forward in terms of feeling a little bit better the car, so generally I’m happy.”

The previous weekend in Spielberg saw many drivers getting their lap times deleted for exceeding track limits—which culminated in a string of 5-second penalties being handed out to practically half of the grid during the race on Sunday.

The results were later amended as Aston Martin launched a post-race protest, which saw drivers getting hit with retroactive penalties for track limit violations. While the top three remained unchanged, the shake-up in the race classification promoted both Aston drivers (P5 for Alonso and P9 for Stroll.)

Nevertheless, Alonso insisted that the team wasn’t necessarily looking to gain an advantage by targeting any specific team or driver with their protest.

“To be honest, I was not really following [the situation] too much. (…) I think we didn’t really mean to gain positions or fight against a specific team or driver. It was just common sense for the team, because they were seeing deleted laps, all through the race.”

“As I said this time we didn’t protest any rival or any other team, we just protested against race direction for not applying the penalties. It was not that we look at the laps of everyone else and our laps, just to spot one centimeter out of the line.

“I’m happy that the team is pushing, but it’s not that they tried to exploit any gray area or anything, it was just common sense. (…) It was as simple as that.”

“If you stay on track, you don’t get any penalty. And it was ten drivers not getting any penalties, so it was possible.”

Aston Martin made headlines earlier in the year with the developmental and performance leap they made from 2022 to 2023. Their greatest strength seemed to be their consistency, with Alonso scoring a hatrick of podiums (P3 in each) in the first three rounds.

While a P7 and P5 finish for Alonso in Spain and Austria respectively are not any major cause for concern just yet (especially sandwiched in between two P2 finishes), the Spanish driver explained that the team is working on understanding their recent lack of consistency in terms of pace and performance.

“We were slower [in Austria] than Montreal, no doubt. Also Spain was a little bit off the pace. So yeah, it’s something that we’d love to understand.

“I think in Spain, Mercedes was clearly the second fastest team, they were challenging Red Bull in a way and they got much closer to them. In Canada, it was Aston Martin that was the second force and we were challenging Max in a way. And then in Austria it was Ferrari.

“So, the last few races, we saw very different results for Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston, and we need to obviously understand it to avoid those weaknesses and those bad weekends.”

“But at the moment we don’t have a clear answer. I think it’s track specific, it’s something we’re still investigating.”