Alonso says 'fast' Aston Martin felt 'more normal' at Spa


Fernando Alonso says set-up changes in the wake of a disappointing series of races for Aston Martin revived the speed of its AMR23 which felt "more normal" at Spa last weekend.

Alonso enjoyed a solid run in the Belgian Grand Prix from ninth to fifth, a productive result that made up for his disastrous sprint race on Saturday that ended in the gravel trap after just two laps.

But the Spaniard was especially satisfied with the pace of his car in Belgium which clearly benefitted from the changes implemented after disappointing outings at Silverstone and in Hungary.

"I think the car felt fast today," Alonso said after last Sunday's race.

"The guys did an incredible job again on the strategy, also on the pitstops. We made a few places also yesterday, even if we didn't finish the race. And yeah, I think today the car felt more normal.

"So we had a few thoughts after Hungary, after Silverstone. So the team was making a few set-up changes also to the car. And I think it paid off today.

"The car felt more normal, more competitive. So yeah happy, and a good boost for summer."


However, it was anything but an easy race weekend for Alonso and his colleagues who had to deal with the ever-changing wicked weather conditions at Spa.

"I felt definitely more competitive than the last few events," he said. "It was not an easy weekend to go into the rhythm, and the wet qualifying and track changing all the time. So not much experience on dry.

"I think, apart from McLaren, we were all on the dry set-up, or dryish. We never did two laps with the same conditions all through the weekend.

"It was just getting drier and drier, and eventually into the slicks. And that was all about qualifying, the sprint format is always like that.

"And yeah, I was lucky at the start. Before Eau Rouge I made a few places there, and I was a little bit worried if we will fall back, and the pace will not be good enough to keep that position.

"But it was good, today the car felt fast. We kept one Mercedes behind, one McLaren behind. So we were in the mix. And that's good news before the summer break."


In such precarious and changing conditions as those encountered last weekend, Alonso acknowledged that his vast experience as an F1 veteran remains a prime asset.

"I’m nearly 43 you can say now!" he joked, having turned 42 last Saturday. "I think people already saw that it's not a big change when you're 41 or when you're 25. It's more in your head, in the motivation, how you approach the weekend.

"And yeah, races like today or the starts of today, or even a few examples in other teams, they bet more on experience, like Daniel [Ricciardo] now in AlphaTauri, and things like that.

"So it's not about youth, it's just about going fast!"

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