Alonso: We outperformed our true position in Suzuka

Alonso: We outperformed our true position in Suzuka

Alonso: We outperformed our true position in Suzuka

Fernando Alonso was deeply satisfied after finishing sixth in the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, a result he believed flattered Aston Martin’s actual position.

Aston Martin debuted a major upgrade package on its AMR24 last weekend in Japan, and while Lance Stroll has the updated car from the start, Alonso did not sample it until the third free practice session.

However, it was the Spaniard who made the best out of the revised AMR24, qualifying fifth compared to 16th for Stroll, another example of the vast gap in performance between the Aston Martin drivers.

During the race Alonso managed to finish sixth, beating one McLaren (Oscar Piastri) and both Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, a significant performance given that Aston Martin is behind both of those teams in the pecking order.

Speaking in Aston Martin‘s post race report, Alonso said: “It was a great weekend for me with fifth position in Qualifying yesterday and sixth place in the race.

“It was one of my best for a while,” he went on. “I think we slightly outperformed our true position here [Japan] this weekend, but we are executing our races very well this season and scoring good points for the team. Our plan for today worked well and a special thanks for the pitstops which were very impressive, so credit to all of the team for that.

“We still need to analyse our update package, so we’ll have a look at all our data from this weekend in Japan ahead of our return to Shanghai,” the double F1 Champion concluded.

In the other AMR24, Stroll could not get into points-scoring positions and finished 12th, he commented: “It was a difficult race today. Starting from P16 meant we had a compromised strategy and struggled to find any clean air.

Stroll out of the points in the other Aston Martin

“We also lacked the straight-line speed we needed. I did make some good overtakes at Turn 6 though, so that made for some fun racing. We were hoping to catch Yuki [Tsunoda] for P10, but the soft tyres just didn’t have the grip towards the end of the race, so it was disappointing not to finish in the points.

“We’ll take these learnings into China in a couple of weeks’ time,” the 25-year-old Canadian concluded.

Summing up Aston Martin’s Japanese GP weekend, Team Principal Mike Krack said: “P6 was the best available to us today and a solid result.

“The updates we have brought seem to be a positive step and we have been able to finish ahead of our nearest competitor Mercedes and come home with eight points. Fernando drove really well today and the team executed flawless and consistent pitstops,” he explained.

As for Stroll, Krack commented: “With Lance he was fighting with Tsunoda who started six places ahead of him on the grid after Qualifying. He battled well and made some impressive overtakes in the Esses but unfortunately, we couldn’t take the fight to him today.

“We have a short turnaround now back at the Campus and we look forward to returning to Shanghai and the first Sprint weekend of the season,” the Aston Martin boss concluded.

Aston Martin are fifth in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ Championship, just one point behind Mercedes which poses the question of what could’ve been had Stroll scored some points in Japan.