Alonso says 2023 F1 campaign alongside 2012 as his best: “I rate it the best season in my driving”

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The end of the season is nearing, and it’s time to wrap up the 2023 season, evaluating the positive aspects and the negative aspects of the year that went by.

Ahead of the last round in Abu Dhabi, the Spanish driver looked back at his first year with Aston Martin, which had some high notes with the eight podiums he scored at the team owned by Lawrence Stroll.

He compared it to 2012. Alonso just missed out on the title that year after a stunning season of consistency and brilliance in a car that wasn’t a match for Red Bull or McLaren at almost every event.

“I’m happy with my personal performance. I think together with 2012, it’s the best season for me.

“Personally I rate it the best season in my driving. I was happy with everything, I was motivated, I was fit. I was performing in difficult conditions sometimes,” he added, highlighting the key reasons behind his statement.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramaco Cognizant F1 Team

In his opinion, however, his and his team’s best overall weekend of the year didn’t see him bringing back home interesting silverware, but was instead an example of resilience.

“Bahrain, Monaco, Canada, Monza and Brazil will be my top five of the year.

Monza was indeed a bad weekend for Aston Martin. Lance Stroll was slowest in qualifying, while Alonso dragged his car into Q3. He finished P9, 41s ahead of his teammate.

“I put Monza on purpose because it was a ninth place. it was not a podium, it was nothing that people will remember, but probably we had the slowest car in Monza, or the second slowest, and to be in the points it was, yeah, one of those weekends where everything was really good,” he concluded, recalling the good feeling he had had in his car in spite of the not too flashy final result.

Although the two-time World Champion has consistently been there or thereabouts for a solid portion of the season, his efforts were never rewarded with a race win, the one that would bring his Formula 1 victory tally to 33.

Alonso admitted that he feels like he had deserved to score the team’s first win since Sergio Perez’s Sakhir GP one in 2020.

There were some rounds where he believes he was considerably close to interrupt Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s hegemony, but ultimately it was another Spanish driver to score the first non-Red Bull win of the year, Carlos Sainz for Ferrari in Singapore.

Monaco was the biggest one as a switch to intermediates instead of mediums as the rain started to fall would have opened the door for Alonso to get Verstappen who was on worn out mediums and struggling on his in-lap in the tricky conditions.

“I think it was possible, probably Monaco was the closest, with maybe a tyre call change or something. Maybe Zandvoort if we were in a different position on that restart or something.”

Rivals in the battle for fourth place in the constructors’ championship McLaren as well managed to achieve a win, even if it was only a sprint race, with rookie driver Oscar Piastri in Qatar.

The battle between the British teams is as open as ever, with Aston Martin only 11 points behind the papayas heading into the last round.

“Yeah, probably. We had opportunities here and there.

“Yes, I believe that we deserved it more than everyone else this year,” he concluded.