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Alonso Confident in Aston's 2024 Progress

Alonso Confident in Aston’s 2024 Progress

17/05/2024

Despite no podiums yet, Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin’s 2024 F1 car shows significant improvement over last year, focusing on overall progress rather than just results.

Fernando Alonso was a frequent podium visitor after a Grand Prix in 2023.

With a quarter of the 2024 season behind him, the tally remains at zero. At first glance, this seems like a regression, but “it’s not strange” according to Alonso, who believes the Aston Martin AMR24 is a better F1 car than last season’s model.

“When I see the efforts we are making in development during the season, when I see the wind tunnel progress since last year or the end of the year, this is a team with a much better profile than what we are currently seeing in terms of results.”

“It’s not strange, it’s a very tough environment. We are fighting against top-level teams, and they continue to bring improvements. They ultimately started with a better base, so we need to catch up.”

“The results are not as good as in 2023 because the top four teams are doing an incredible job. But we also enjoy this challenge. I mean, we want to fight for a world championship one day. It’s something that requires us to go through this process of becoming a top-level team off the track as well.”

In any case, Alonso is not irritated by the lack of trophies at the moment.

“I am more satisfied this year with the team’s and car’s progress than last year. If you look at the first six or seven races, it’s hard to explain in terms of results but not in terms of feeling. I have full confidence in the team. And I see a good direction now.”

The AMR24 still has a few updates planned for Imola. Alonso tempers the expected impact.

“I think it will be a good step. We are bringing more updates, more regularly. It was a good step in Bahrain. It was a good step in Jeddah and Australia. And in Japan. And a bit in Miami.”

“So, basically, at every race, we have brought new parts this year. It’s no different here at Imola. We’ll have to see if the lap time improves compared to others who also have updates.”

“We have three practice sessions here. It’s different from the last two Sprint events. So, we have plenty of time to really optimize the new package and get the right settings. But I don’t think it’s different from other races.”

“And we will have more upgrades in Monaco next week. More in Canada. More in Barcelona. So, it’s far from being a crucial package; it’s a long development race until the end of the year.”

When asked if the Imola updates would help address the car’s weaknesses, Alonso replied, “Not yet.”

“I think right now, what we are bringing is simply additional performance. More downforce in the car. Less drag. So just a better lap time like every time we’ve brought something this year. It seems to correlate well with the wind tunnel.”

“But it’s a relative gain. If you bring half a tenth and the entire grid brings two-tenths, you’re one and a half tenths behind compared to the previous weekend.”

“But for the car’s weaknesses and the balance we are currently facing, it’s a more specific project. It’s not yet in the pipeline.”

Alonso Confident in Aston's 2024 Progress

Alonso Calls for Unity in F1 to Make Penalties ‘Consistent’ and ‘Simple’

Fernando Alonso insists he is not alone in criticizing the current management of Formula 1 races.

The 42-year-old driver was particularly outspoken two weeks ago in Miami, seeking a face-to-face meeting with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem over an alleged anti-Spanish bias in the issuing of penalties for on-track infractions.

However, there are other issues as well – such as Kevin Magnussen facing a race ban under the current penalty points system for his defensive driving tactics, and a general inconsistency in stewards’ decisions.

When told that many journalists and fans often don’t understand why one driver is penalized and another isn’t, Carlos Sainz said in Imola: “Sometimes the drivers don’t either.”

Magnussen, who defended himself and shared his ideas with the FIA yesterday (read here), agrees: “I raced in Indycar and I like how they race there. The rules are very clear and very simple, and the races are great.”

Asked about the situation in Imola, Alonso called for “unity among everyone” in Formula 1 to improve the situation for the good of the sport.

“We are discussing these things among the drivers, the FIA, the stewards, the future, the regulations, the future driving rules.”

“And yes, I think the penalties are a bit inconsistent from our perspective, although it is natural for one side to always think one way and the other to think the opposite. It’s natural in sports.”

“But we’ve had a few cases, especially in the last two or three years, where both sides think one thing and the ‘referee’ (the stewards) think another way, which is strange in any sport.”

“So it’s something we need to work on and I was happy the other day to read that Checo (Perez) and Logan (Sargeant) also said the penalties were a bit strange. So no, I’m not the only one.”

When asked what he is looking for in upcoming discussions, Alonso continued: “We just need to simplify things. You know, everyone just wants to have a straightforward weekend. But we need to do it all together.”

“Sometimes we are not united at all, we don’t agree on the solutions to apply, whether to sanction or not. That’s the biggest challenge we have, getting a consensus to make changes.”

Alonso Calls for Unity in F1 to Make Penalties 'Consistent' and 'Simple'

Alonso Confident in Aston’s 2024 Progress. Alonso Confident in Aston’s 2024 Progress. F1 2024 Alonso Confident in Aston’s 2024 Progress

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