Alonso: Tricky weekend, but still one second from podium
Fernando Alonso failed to maintain his podium streak in 2023 so far, but finished one second away from third, a food achievement given the tricky weekend Aston Martin had in Azerbaijan.

Aston Martin were not the second fastest Formula 1 team in Azerbaijan, as Ferrari took over that position – in race trim that is with Charles Leclerc dominating both Qualifying and Sprint Shootout.

Aston Martin were off the pace in general, with a persisting DRS problem making life difficult for the team and its driver all weekend long, on a track were top speed is paramount. But despite the problem being sorted for the Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Alonso failed to make it to the podium finishing less than one second away from third-placed Leclerc.

“Quite happy with the pace,” he said after the race, quoted by F1’s Official Website. “We had the pace in the Sprint as well, but today we showed even a stronger one, especially with the medium at the beginning. Unfortunately, the Safety Car came, and we all put on the hard tyres.

Ferrari got lucky

“The hard tyres didn’t have any degradation, which is our strongest point at the moment, so I think Ferrari were quite lucky there because they were struggling a lot in the first stint, and then they were okay on the hard tyres. But, nevertheless, I think it has been a tricky weekend for Aston,” he explained.

“We were underperforming a bit compared to the first three races, DRS problems as well, and even with that we were still one second from the podium, one second from Charles.

“And Ferrari, they did have a very good weekend – pole position on both qualifying and things like that. And, even with that, we are still one second from them, so it shows that Aston Martin is never giving up on Sundays,” the Spaniard maintained.

As for Miami, in a week’s time, Alonso said: “I think Miami is going to be a different thing again. It’s going to be track-related now.

“I think the performance – Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin – are so close together that every weekend is going to be different, making one of the teams a little bit ahead depending [on] the characteristics.

“I don’t know yet if Miami will be good for us or not. If it’s hot as it should be and there’s a lot of degradation that’s normally good news for us,” the double F1 Champion concluded.