Fernando Alonso claimed his first season with Aston Martin was his best, most consistent season since 2012, the season he contested with Ferrari and lost out on the Formula 1 Championship by three points.
In 2012, Alonso took the fight to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel who was dominating that era of F1 in an inferior Ferrari and kept his Title hopes alive until the final race in Brazil where he lost out to the German.
In 2023, the double F1 Champion had a great start for life as an Aston Martin driver, the team delivering a rapid car that remained for the first part of the season, the second fastest behind Red Bull’s all conquering RB19.
And while Aston Martin lost the development race to Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, Alonso managed to bag eight podiums and finish fourth in the 2023 F1 Drivers’ Championship.
In Abu Dhabi’s season finale, the Spaniard drove one of his feisty races to finish seventh, and reflected after that on his first season in Green.
Fourth in the Championship a real gift
He said in Aston Martin‘s race report: “If you’d told me before this weekend that I’d finish fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, I wouldn’t have believed you – so this is a real gift.
“I’m really pleased with the way I’ve driven all season – I think this has been my best, most consistent season of driving since 2012. I think I got the maximum from the car all season,” he reckoned.
Alonso went on: “The whole Aston Martin team has worked incredibly hard and I am already looking forward to going into the winter and starting work for next season.
“We started this year as an underdog, but we’ll start 2024 very much in the spotlight; we need to be ready for that.
“Finally, a big thank-you and well-done to everybody on the team – this year has far exceeded all our wildest expectations and every single person should be proud of what we’ve achieved,” the 42-year-old concluded.
Different fortunes in the other Aston Martin garage
Lance Stroll, in the other Aston Martin garage had a horrendous season starting with broken hands ahead of testing and was never close to the level of Alonso all season long, but showed a hint of improvement in the final few races.
The Canadian finished tenth in Abu Dhabi, and said after that: “We elected to start the race on the Hard tyre and put in a long stint hoping for a Safety Car and a quick stop.
“But it didn’t play out like that, so we ended up running a two-stop strategy. Nevertheless, I think we were attacking well today and making progress throughout the field. We do tend to have better pace on a Sunday, and that was definitely the case today.
“I’m pleased that we finished 2023 with some stronger performances that we can be proud of. It’s definitely been a year of learning – we’ve had ups and downs – but we’re in a good place heading into next year,” Stroll concluded.