Alonso Reveals His Take on Mercedes’ Impressive Performance in Australian Grand Prix Qualifying
Mercedes’ struggles at the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season have been well-documented, but Fernando Alonso believes that the team has exaggerated the poor performance of their car. While the team has admitted that their car concept requires significant modifications, they have shown signs of improvement and competitiveness, particularly in the recent Australian Grand Prix qualifying session.
According to Fernando Alonso, he was not surprised by Mercedes’ impressive performance in the qualifying round of the Australian Grand Prix. He believes that the Formula 1 team has exaggerated the poor performance of their car, which is why the outcome was expected.
Mercedes has once again found themselves starting the season at a disadvantage during F1’s new ground-effect era. The team has admitted that their car concept requires significant modifications.
During the first two qualifying sessions of 2023, Mercedes’ car was notably slower than Red Bull’s car and was also surpassed by Alonso’s Aston Martin, which uses Mercedes’ engine. However, at the Saudi Arabia race, George Russell, who has been the team’s top qualifier in all three races so far, managed to secure the third position on the grid, being only one-tenth of a second behind Alonso.
In Australia, Mercedes had their best qualifying session of the season, with George Russell qualifying in second place and Lewis Hamilton in third. Fernando Alonso, who qualified in fourth place, was narrowly beaten by Hamilton by a mere 0.035 seconds. Alonso stated that despite the negative comments made by Mercedes and its drivers, the team had already hinted at this kind of performance.
Alonso commented that based on the remarks made by Mercedes, it may seem that their car is not even capable of making it to Q3. However, he does not believe that the car is as bad as it is portrayed. While acknowledging that no team currently has a car that is on par with Red Bull, Alonso believes that Mercedes is improving and will soon be in contention for victories. He also pointed out that last year, despite a difficult start, the team managed to win a race and this year they are showing their potential once again.
It is possible that Alonso’s comment was intended to be humorous or playful, and to some extent, a dig at Mercedes. Given that he is unexpectedly competing with Mercedes in the early part of the 2023 season, he may have seen it as an opportunity to take a swipe at his rivals.
However, it is true that if Red Bull was not part of the picture, Mercedes’ performance at the start of the season would not seem as lackluster. Removing Red Bull from the equation, Mercedes has shown signs of improvement and competitiveness, as evidenced by their recent strong performance in the Australian Grand Prix qualifying session.
Indeed, Red Bull is currently the benchmark that Mercedes is striving to match and beat. This is evident from the vocal complaints made by Lewis Hamilton about his struggles with the W14. Despite these difficulties, Mercedes never suggested that their car was incapable of making it into the top 10 in qualifying, and in fact, their recent strong performances show that they are making progress.
Compared to last year, Mercedes’ start to the season is far less problematic, as the W13 was sometimes unable to compete at a high level. Although there is still work to be done, it is clear that Mercedes is improving and moving in the right direction.
There has been noticeable progress with the W14 since the first round of the season, which drew a blunt and honest assessment from team boss Toto Wolff. During the first round in Bahrain, Mercedes was outpaced by Red Bull, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, and was 0.7% off the pace.
However, by the time they got to Jeddah, Mercedes had improved and managed to become the third-fastest team on the grid, ahead of Ferrari. The gap to the front of the grid was reduced to 0.67%, which shows that the team is making progress with the car. Although there is still work to be done, the improvement from the first round is a positive sign for Mercedes.
In Australia, Mercedes has shown their most competitive performance of the season so far. With the second-fastest car and both drivers qualifying in the top three, the team was only 0.3% behind the fastest time.
Toto Wolff Shares His Concern About the Swings in Performance Mercedes Must Avoid.
Toto Wolff acknowledged that this performance was better than expected and even admitted that he could not pretend otherwise. This result is a clear sign that Mercedes is making progress and moving in the right direction, although there is still work to be done to close the gap to Red Bull.
Toto Wolff acknowledged that in motorsports, there will be both highs and lows. While Mercedes is not yet where they want to be in terms of challenging for wins, finishing in P2 and P3 in the Australian Grand Prix was better than expected. He credited the team’s performance for extracting the maximum potential from the car and doing a great job with the tyres. Additionally, he praised the drivers for delivering strong performances. Overall, Wolff believes that it was a brilliant job by the team to secure such a good result in Australia.
According to Toto Wolff, the onboard footage from the Australian Grand Prix shows that the Mercedes car is still edgy to drive and not as easy to handle as the Aston Martin or Red Bull. However, the team was able to balance the car on the edge and extract the most out of it.
Despite this strong performance in Australia, Wolff notes that it does not change the fact that Mercedes’ car is ultimately not quick enough, as evidenced by their start to the season. As a result, he strongly hinted that the team may need to reconsider their chosen car concept, although he did not make any specific promises in this regard.
Toto Wolff expressed his concern about the swings in performance that the team must avoid. While delivering a good qualifying performance in Australia, he emphasized the importance of not overreacting and swinging from exuberance to despair with each result. It is crucial to avoid such extremes and maintain a steady focus on developing the car.
He explained that the team has never had any fixed ideas about what the car should look like, and they know exactly where they went wrong. However, he also acknowledged that there is some potential in the car, as evidenced by their ability to extract its full potential during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. The key now is to continue to improve and make progress step by step.
Alonso Reveals His Take on Mercedes Impressive Performance in Australian Grand Prix Qualifying f1 2023 Alonso Reveals His Take on Mercedes Impressive Performance in Australian Grand Prix Qualifying f1 2023 Alonso Reveals His Take on Mercedes Impressive Performance in Australian Grand Prix Qualifying f1 2023 Alonso Reveals His Take on Mercedes Impressive Performance in Australian Grand Prix Qualifying f1 2023
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