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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Aston Martin’s F1 qualifying tempo a “large shock”

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In a particularly tight Q3 area, Alonso’s 1m29.542s yielded him sixth on Saturday’s grid.

And whereas he was a tantalisingly shut 0.005s off Sergio Perez in fifth and simply half a tenth of George Russell in third, Alonso was buoyed by the outcome as a result of he had doubts about his AMR24’s one-lap pace.

“It was a pleasant shock to seek out ourselves aggressive,” Alonso grinned. “After winter testing we had some doubts by way of one-lap tempo.

“In free observe, it was a distinct automobile this weekend, we felt extra aggressive. However usually we run perhaps extra engine [power] or much less gas or no matter and we discover [the] actuality typically in qualifying, so we have been very cautious into qualifying about our prospects.

“We discovered ourselves fairly aggressive in Q1, in Q2 after which in Q3. Now we’re within the combine. Inside one tenth we’re along with Ferrari, in entrance of Hamilton, along with the McLarens. So it is a large shock and intensely blissful.”

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In the meantime, team-mate Lance Stroll certified twelfth after lacking out on a Q3 slot by lower than a tenth.

When Alonso was requested by Autosport the place he thought his stunning tempo got here from, he mentioned his new machine reacted very properly to any set-up modifications Aston Martin utilized to deal with Bahrain’s difficult Sakhir circuit.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I feel the automobile was extra related,” the two-time F1 world champion replied. “We had some difficulties final week in winter to essentially really feel the wants of the automobile. It was fairly inconsistent.

“This weekend, all of the set-up modifications we try are doing precisely what we anticipate from them and that is all the time a pleasant factor once you’re attempting to fine-tune a Method 1 automobile to extract the utmost.

“So, the additional degree of confidence within the automobile was the Positive factor about this weekend.”

Much like his doubts about Aston Martin’s qualifying tempo, Alonso additionally remained cautious about its race efficiency after some extra lacklustre lengthy runs, which projected his workforce to be additional behind Ferrari and Mercedes over a stint.

“We had some so-so runs in winter testing and yesterday we did not look notably good,” the Spaniard defined.

“It is going to be a particularly tight race. Racing in a bunch of automobiles isn’t a simple factor to handle by way of tyres and issues like that, so let’s have a look at how we cope with these issues.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB20, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24

Picture by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“It is a very, excellent begin. Slightly bit surprising, however we take it. If we wish to compete with Ferrari and Mercedes and these groups, we have to increase the extent of improvement all through the season.

“Final 12 months we began with a great base automobile, however we acquired caught there for a lot of races. This 12 months, we modified the idea of how you can design the automobile and the upgrades.

“So, to start out out robust, it brings me a whole lot of optimism for the long run.”

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