Alonso: Upcoming upgrades make for 'interesting' races ahead

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Fernando Alonso says that with upgrades set to kick in, teams are heading into an "interesting" period of the season during which the pecking order could change from race to race.

After the first three races of 2023 - in Bahrain, Jeddah and Melbourne - Red Bull has emerged as the class of the field with its RB19 performing head and shoulders above its rivals.

Behind the Milton Keynes-based outfit, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari form a tight-knit group, with Team Silverstone leading its two adversaries in the championship thanks to a hat-trick of podiums in the first three races of the season.

However, starting in Baku at the end of the month, teams will roll out their first significant updates, kick starting a development race that could sway performance levels from one venue to the other.

"It seems that qualifying is quite important now, because race pace is very similar and I think now we enter into a part of the season that is going to be very interesting: which team is developing the car faster?" commented Alonso in Australia recently.

"I think the first three races being away from Europe, it’s difficult to bring upgrades and things like that.

"But from now on, maybe we see the level of the teams changing a little bit, race-by-race, depending on who brings an upgrade that is good enough."

Alonso is of course hoping that Aston will build on the moment it has established. But the Spaniard admitted his team is running well ahead of its expectations.

"I don’t know, for us, it’s all happy days at the moment," he said.

"We never expected to be on the podium, maybe even throughout the season and in three races we have three.

"So everything that comes now is a plus and as I said today, third and fourth is a lot of points so we take every opportunity."

But the two-time world champion insists Aston – as a newcomer among F1's front-runners – has a lot to learn compared to its direct competitors.

"We need to learn and we need to grow as a team, also maybe now off-track because we are racing against Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, teams that are used to this kind of pace of development and things like that. And maybe we are just in a learning process.

"So we take this 2023 in a very humble manner and let’s see how it’s going?" he concluded.

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