Alonso: “We need to understand what is the car doing now” as performance of AMR23 has fallen away

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Aston Martin’s struggles have continued as of late. Another disappointing race had Fernando Alonso finishing ninth, with teammate Lance Stroll placing tenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

When asked if that was the best result possible this weekend, Alonso begrudgingly accepted the fate of his car.

Photo credit: Aston Martin F1 Team

“Yeah, I think so. I think we weren’t quick enough to challenge anyone in front, and we didn’t have any threats behind. So three points, ninth and 10th, maximum today.

“I think the last two races we are struggling a little bit. I think in Silverstone the safety car helped us in a way to finish seventh, which was a little bit better than our pace.

“In Silverstone and today, ninth probably is our pace. So yeah, behind the Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, which is more or less what we saw in qualifying, and what we saw in the race.”

This is a stark difference from what Alonso has enjoyed at the beginning of the season. While the podiums have become fewer and fewer for Alonso and Aston Martin, the podiums have increased for teams like McLaren and Mercedes. Alonso thought that the Silverstone race would be a one-off, but he was surprised that the pecking order remained the same in Budapest.

“Yeah, a little bit. I think in Silverstone we did expect to struggle a little bit, but in Budapest we thought to be a little bit stronger. It was not the case. So we try to analyse and get back strong in Spa next week.

Alonso realises that his team needs to get better and see how different changes in circuits can better serve the AMR23 in their return in the battle for best of the rest behind Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen.

“We need to see many things, it’s up to us to understand a little bit better what is the car doing now compared to the beginning of the season, how many upgrades we brought compared to our main competitors, and then understanding the new tyres the best.

“They’re the same for everybody, so we just need to do a better job.”

When talking about the development race, Alonso said that it is difficult to say whether Aston Martin took a step back after the development race started and if they really lost their place in the pecking order.

“Difficult to know. I mean, every race we would love to understand, and we have many questions, but we never know exactly what is the cause of it.

“In Austria Hulkenberg and the Haas, they were fourth in qualifying, so we were all surprised. In Silverstone Williams was very fast, we were all surprised. Here Alfa Romeo was very fast, we were all surprised.

Photo credit: Aston Martin Cognizant Aramco Formula 1 team.

“But then in the race, normally everything balanced out and the big teams finish in front. And yeah, we are just in the back end of those top teams. So we need to get back to the front end of that group.

“We always try to bring things as everybody does. So it’s not that everyone will just finish the development and wait until next year. We will all try to bring stuff.

“Some of that stuff works better than expected sometimes, some works worse than expected, and hopefully the next step on our side is a good one.”