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Alonso expects “tough races” to start out at Aston Martin in F1

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Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has joined Aston Martin for 2023 in one of many largest low season driver strikes, leaving Alpine after two years.

On Monday, Aston Martin launched its up to date automotive, the AMR23, that Alonso hopes might help put him again into competition on the entrance of the sector alongside new team-mate Lance Stroll.

Whereas Alonso felt it was “a chance” he can battle once more for race wins and a 3rd championship with Aston Martin, he admitted he didn’t assume it might be anticipated this 12 months.

“I’ve my toes on the bottom,” stated Alonso. “I can’t say to anybody that we’ll be preventing for victories this 12 months. I’ll lie if I say that.

“However on the similar time, we wish to have a great automotive to start out with, and to work and develop that automotive all through the season.

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“Possibly within the second a part of the 12 months, we will get nearer. If there is a chance that’s in changeable circumstances, if the chance comes, we is not going to miss that chance.

“However in the beginning, I count on some tough races till we discover the place the automotive operates, through which window we have now to work with the set-up.”

Alonso has not gained an F1 race for the reason that 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, whereas his final championship success in grand prix racing got here in 2006 with Renault.

He stepped away from F1 on the finish of 2018 so as to discover different racing pursuits, equivalent to competing on the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. He returned with Alpine for the 2021 marketing campaign, however that 12 months noticed Alonso – by his personal admission – initially wrestle to get again in control in F1.

Aston Martin 23

Picture by: Aston Martin Racing

But he turned in some spectacular shows all through 2022, prompting him to hail it as being his best campaign since he came close to a third world title in 2012.  

Alonso mirrored on the early struggles at Alpine when discussing his expectations with Aston Martin, noting there could be simply one-and-a-half days of operating in pre-season for him to become familiar with the AMR23 earlier than the primary race in Bahrain.

“I’m conscious that I can’t be 100% in Bahrain, not in Jeddah, possibly not in Australia,” stated Alonso. “In order that’s slightly bit unfair, possibly.

“I feel that that is the one sport on the earth that you simply do someday and a half apply and then you definately play a world championship.

“With Lance, I’ve that benchmark, in a approach, after just a few years within the group. I do know what’s 100, so I can get nearer to that within the first moments. Let’s see. I feel we have now extra prospects to battle for wins and podiums subsequent 12 months, if we have now a great baseline this 12 months.

“What we have now this 12 months is not going to be our regular place, I imagine.”

Aston Martin completed seventh in final 12 months’s constructors’ championship, having fun with an upswing in type by the second half of the season after struggling in direction of the very rear of the sector within the early a part of the 12 months.

Aston Martin 23

Aston Martin 23

Picture by: Aston Martin Racing

Alonso felt it was essential to know there have been “no miracles in System 1” however hoped the AMR23 may lay the foundations for a extra aggressive future.

“Final 12 months, the package deal had some difficulties as all of us noticed from the skin,” stated Alonso. “I feel the group went by just a few issues through the season they usually improved so much on the finish of the 12 months.

“These difficulties are excellent once you perceive them and you may programme one thing from that automotive. I feel that is the true first automotive with this new set of rules that hopefully Aston Martin can develop sooner or later.

“That shall be for me the most important factor this 12 months, that we will develop all through the season, and we will end 2023 figuring out that it is a baseline for the longer term Aston Martin automobiles.”

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