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Motorsport / Formula 1: Grand Prix of China 2006, Fernando Alonso (ESP, Renault F1 Team) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault F1 Team),www.hoch-zwei.net ,copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel+++ ITALY OUT +++

Fisichella: Unsure Aston Martin can build winning F1 car for Alonso

Motorsport / Formula 1: Grand Prix of China 2006, Fernando Alonso (ESP, Renault F1 Team) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault F1 Team),www.hoch-zwei.net ,copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel+++ ITALY OUT +++

Ex-Formula 1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella is not sure Aston Martin can compete at Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull level but acknowledges it won’t be for lack of investment as Lawrence Stroll’s team try to build a winning car for Fernando Alonso.

Last year, Spain’s double F1 World Champion showed that with a half-decent car (which the AMR23 was) Alonso is a contender as the six out of six podiums he scored early in his 2023 campaign. A time when only the veteran was bothering the dominance of Red Bull.

But Aston Martin engineers lost their way, suggesting they lucked into the concept that served them so well early last year, but their upgrades bombed massively and the Greens have not recovered since.

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Despite this Alonso inked a contract extension at a strange time, namely amid a slow Aston Martin phase and several teams needing a driver of his calibre, Mercedes and Red Bull included.

Speaking to DAZN, Fisichella takes up the story: “Fernando has shown the experience that he has and he’s still in great shape both mentally and physically. Considering he is 42 years old, he is so competitive and it’s difficult to see a driver racing in F1 at this age.

“But Fernando is still racing and still wants to race for the next few years which is amazing. He just needs a competitive car to fight for the championship and for podium finishes. At the moment, Aston Martin isn’t as competitive as it was last year.

“Last year, they started the season very well but then the development of the car wasn’t good enough compared to Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. It’s a good car but not good enough to score the points so it’s difficult for Fernando,” reckoned Fisichella.

Fisichella: In Formula 1 anything is possible

Fernando Alonso Minardi

The pair were teammates at Renault when Alonso won his only two F1 world titles in 2005 and 2006, Fisichella the wingman both those seasons. And StatsF1 show that it did not get better than that for the Spaniard.

Alonso last won an F1 race over a decade ago when he triumphed on home soil to win the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver, on the occasion of his 202nd GP start. The 2024 Monaco GP was his 385th start in the top flight.

History shows that ‘F1 contracts are made to be broken’ as Fisichella alludes to in Alonso’s case: “He’s just signed the new contract with Aston Martin but in Formula 1 anything is possible. Aston Martin are investing a lot to build a competitive car for Fernando.

“It will be difficult this year but in 2025, maybe it will be better. I’m not sure whether Aston Martin is a team that will be able to compete with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull,” ventured Fisi.

A third of the way through this season, Alonso has 33 points on the board. Last year his score was 117 points after eight rounds. For a one-man team – which Aston Martin are lugging around the boss’ son Lance Stroll who is more of a liability than an asset – this is not a good state of affairs.

Fisichella: I worked to help Fernando win the championship

alonso fisichella

As for his two seasons (2005 and 2006) as teammate to Alonso at Renault, run by Flavio Braitore, Fisichella recalled: “After races, if it was a good weekend for us, we would go out and party. We had a great time together in training camps, we worked hard. We’d also spend time together when we were resting away from F1.

“Before the race, we’d play cards with Flavio Briatore and our physio which was funny. It helped us to create a great atmosphere which in turn made us a successful team that won championships.

“In 2005 at Renault, we had a good friendship together. We worked together, there was a lot of respect between each other. I knew he was a quick driver. I had a couple of technical problems after that race and I lost the possibility to fight for the championship so I worked for the team.

“I worked to help Fernando win the championship. I did my best to get the team the Constructors’ Championship. Fernando was a nice guy and together we worked very well as teammates. There was a good atmosphere between the two of us, Briatore and the whole team,” recalled 51-year-old Fisichella.

For Fisichella insights on Hamilton to Ferrari move and the 2025 F1 Silly Season read more here>>>

Big Question: If Aston Martin continue in the F1 midfield, what next for Fernando Alonso?