Aston Martin head down under after two strong races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and Fernando Alonso believes the team should target strong qualifying to ensure another decent result.
The double Formula 1 Champion has delivered two third-place finishes for his new team on his first two races with them, and will be targeting a continuation of this momentum in Melbourne, but Albert Park is known to be a circuit where overtaking is tough, despite the additional fourth DRS zone between Turn 8 and 9, which means qualifying will be crucial.
Aston Martin have shown that in the AMR23, they have a decent car over different circuit layouts, but Alonso is still playing it safe, insisting the team remains grounded while targeting consistently strong results.
Speaking in Aston Martin‘s race preview, Alonso said: “We head to Australia feeling good having scored back-to-back podiums and we hope to build on these results this weekend.
“The car has performed quite well on two different circuits so far. However, our feet remain on the ground and we are realistic that in order to keep scoring strong results we need to deliver in all areas of the team,” he insisted.
The track is expected to be faster, but qualifying remains key
“Australia is always a fun race to go to and I am curious to see how the track differs to previous years,” the Spaniard continued. “It is going to be even faster than last year and hopefully we will see more overtaking.
“But as ever Qualifying will likely be pivotal at Albert Park, so we need to make sure we have a strong Saturday to put us in the best possible position to score as many points as possible,” he maintained.
Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll suffered a DNF in the previous race in Saudi Arabia, and is looking to put that behind this weekend.
“It was disappointing to end the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a retirement,” Stroll said, “so I am looking forward to getting back out on track in Australia.
“It is another very different circuit to the two we have experienced so far this season which means no expectations; we will take it day by day. Albert Park is a cool track which evolves throughout the weekend as we lay down rubber. I especially like the very fast Turn Nine-10 chicane; it is always good fun to drive.
“Melbourne itself is a great city which I enjoy getting to visit. The fans are awesome too, so I hope we can put on a good show for them,” the Canadian concluded.