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Alonso Saudi Podium Hopes

Alonso Faces Tire Woes, Rules Out Saudi Podium

09/03/2024

Despite leading in practice, Fernando Alonso sees no podium chance in Saudi Arabia due to AMR24’s tire wear issues.

Fernando Alonso has firmly ruled out vying for a podium position in Saudi Arabia – despite setting the pace in practice sessions and securing fourth place in Friday’s qualifying.

The Aston Martin F1 driver points out an issue with his AMR24: its excessive tire wear over long stints.

“We have a car that’s very quick on a single lap,” acknowledges the Aston Martin F1 driver, “but not as swift over the long runs.”

While Haas has made significant strides with its tire wear issues since 2023, a similar problem now seems to afflict the new Aston Martin AMR24.

The silver lining is the impressive single-lap speed.

“We’ve been very quick, alongside Red Bull and Ferrari, which is surprising,” continues Alonso. “And we still managed to outpace Mercedes and McLaren.”

“We’ve made some changes for the race, so the answer will only come then. But I’m fully aware that five days ago, we were the fifth-fastest car on the grid, and in five days, that story won’t change. Brace for a challenging race.”

“Our F1 car heats the tires very well. They’re ready for the first lap, and it’s very easy to feel that on new rubber. This extracts the maximum available grip.”

“At the same time, it does wear down the tires a bit because of this good characteristic over a lap. So, good for us in qualifying, bad for us in the race.”

“And I still believe our long runs were done with less fuel and more power in practice, so I’m taking it very calmly. We are not in our real position.”

Hence, any dream of moving from 4th on the grid to the podium is off the table.

“Yes, 100% ruled out. In the long runs, Red Bull was 1.2 seconds faster than us, and Charles (Leclerc in the Ferrari) was eight-tenths quicker. Unfortunately, we will have to look much further back rather than forward.”

“McLaren and Mercedes will be too strong. In Bahrain, we were with them in qualifying, and in the race, they were 30 seconds ahead, which is alarming.”

“A sixth place on the grid in Bahrain was unreal, and a fourth place here is the same.”

Alonso Saudi Podium Hopes. Alonso Saudi Podium Hopes

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