SPAIN: As Aston Martin faced a setback in Barcelona, slipping down the order, Fernando Alonso, the star driver, has warned that the upcoming upgrades for the Canadian Grand Prix could propel them to “crush” their rivals.
While Red Bull has dominated the F1 2023 season with seven consecutive victories, Alonso has been a strong contender, securing podium finishes in five of the first six races, including a second-place finish in Monaco.
However, the Spanish driver’s home race proved challenging for him and the Aston Martin team, as Mercedes, regarded by many as the fourth fastest, overshadowed them.
Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari also outperformed the Aston Martin cars, finishing fifth, leaving Lance Stroll trailing by 18 seconds while Alonso recovered to seventh place.
In recent races, Mercedes and Ferrari introduced significant upgrade packages, with Mercedes unveiling their new-look W14 in Monaco and Ferrari showcasing their heavily revised SF-23 in Spain.
As a result, it seems that Aston Martin now needs to play catch-up. However, Alonso remains highly confident in their prospects. With Aston Martin having the most wind tunnel time available among the leading teams, they have innovative upgrades in the pipeline.
According to Alonso, the Canadian Grand Prix will be the stage where Aston Martin makes a bold statement in the development race and shifts into “crush” mode, with Mercedes being a particular target.
Alonso’s optimism stems from the team’s ability to recover from a challenging qualifying session and salvage points during the race. Although Mercedes gained crucial points at Aston Martin’s expense, the team managed to outscore Ferrari again.
Looking ahead, Alonso revealed that more upgrades would be introduced for the Canadian GP and Silverstone, emphasising the importance of staying ahead of other teams in the development race.
Alonso believes that if Aston Martin brings upgrades, they could be on par with Lewis Hamilton and have an improved chance at winning a race this season. The Spanish driver expressed his determination, stating, “I think it’s a race, and in Canada, we crush them.”
With Mercedes securing a double podium finish in Barcelona, claiming second and third positions, they managed to surpass Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship, creating an 18-point advantage for the Brackley squad.
As the F1 season progresses, all eyes will be on Aston Martin’s performance in Canada as they aim to showcase their upgraded capabilities and regain their position as the second-fastest team, challenging the dominance of Red Bull and Mercedes.