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Alonso: Our most competitive race of the year

Alonso: Our most competitive race of the year

Alonso: Our most competitive race of the year
Fernando Alonso hailed his 2023 Canadian Grand Prix as Aston Martin’s most competitive race of the year yet, after he finished second behind winner Max Verstappen.

Following Nico Hulkenberg’s post-Qualifying penalty, Alonso started the race from the front row alongside Verstappen, but was overtaken at the start by Lewis Hamilton who delivered a lightning fast start.

However, the Spaniard came back later and re-took his position, and while the seven-time Formula 1 Champion tried to attack at the end of the race, the #14 Aston Martin kept him at bay despite managing a brake problem.

“I think it was our most competitive race of the year in terms of pace. We were matching the Red Bulls most of the race and sometimes we lost a bit of pace,” Alonso told Sky Sports TV after the race. “At one point I thought the race was over and second place was good.

“I saw Lewis coming so fast. He’s the last driver you want to see in your mirrors when he’s coming fast but I had a bit more pace in hand,” he said of Hamilton’s late-race charge. “He was never in the DRS gap, so it was like 70 laps of qualifying today.”

Brake problems weren’t a big issue

As for his brake problems, he commented: “I don’t think it was much. It’s a circuit you can sometimes give up a little bit on entry, to be better in the exits. We discussed before the race that lift and coast was maybe needed.

“I was ready for that and I don’t think it had an impact on the race result,” the 41-year-old insisted.

Alonso went on expressing how much he believed in the Aston Martin project on the long term, he said: “Everything is good. I can’t think of another time in my career when I was this confident with a team and a project itself. It’s more of a medium to long term project.

“I don’t know if I will be driving [then] I always have in my mind ‘yes because as long as I feel fast and I still enjoy it, why should I stop?’

“At the moment I’m enjoying it,” he claimed. “There is more to come. I want to win a race this year. Today I thought it was possible it Max had a little mistake or a bad pit stop but we were a little bit too far behind to force that error but the car is going in the right direction.

“More opportunities will come,” Alonso, who is chasing his 33rd F1 career win, concluded.