Alonso: “Significant” suspension damage belied Aston Martin’s true pace at the F1 Singapore GP

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Fernando Alonso endured a grueling, incident-ridden race at the Marina Bay last week, which saw him finish a lowly P15. At one point Alonso’s frustration boiled over as he declared via team radio that his car is “undriveable.”

Aston Martin’s post-race investigation revealed that suspension damage was to blame for Alonso’s struggles and lack of pace in Singapore. The front-left suspension shroud had come loose early on in the race, rotating in a way that disrupted the aerodynamics of the car and affected its performance.

Photo credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

“Definitely it was not helping,” Alonso said. “We know how much it affected [us], and we will not share, but it was significant.

“So I’m a little bit less worried about the performance in Singapore after knowing the damage that we had.”

As Aston only ran one car during the race—teammate Lance Stroll didn’t participate after crashing heavily in qualifying the previous day—Alonso believes the team’s performance was not representative because of the damage he had sustained. He didn’t, however, reveal the circumstances in which he had picked up said suspension damage.

“The pace was not the real one in the race and, without that, maybe we could have followed the train of the leaders and have less problems with the Alpine and then with Perez. Then everything would be changed after.

“When you’re not too fast, you get into a lot of problems.”

The Spaniard reiterated that he still has faith in the Aston Martin project despite the recent slump.

“I’m extremely happy with the project.”

“Also in difficult races like Singapore or Monza, all our debriefs, all our meetings with the factory, they are very productive. It is the weekends that we learn more in the season.

“So the steps that we plan ahead for the future, or for next year when we come to those races, are just huge.

“I never saw that kind of scale in terms of ideas and things on the table. So the motivation that the team has to become a top team and the resources and the determination is just outstanding. I’m very happy.

“We have to accept that everyone here [in Formula 1] has a very high level. Everyone has great designers, great team, wind tunnels, all these kinds of things,” Alonso said.

“When we think about our wind tunnel that will be built next year, and we have high hopes, most of the top teams, they have that wind tunnel already for a few years. So we will just level their capacity.

“We are just now down. So this is something that we need to have our feet on the ground [for] as well.”