Alonso favors Williams and Ferrari to 'stand out' at Monza

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Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso has singled out Williams and Ferrari as potential podium contenders for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard believes that Monza's low-downforce environment will highlight the straightline speed qualities of the packages from both teams, as was case at other tracks earlier this summer.

At Spa last month, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc qualified second behind the unassailable Red Bull of Max Verstappen and finished third while Alonso was a distant P9 in Belgium.

"I think two teams in our numbers will stand out here," Alonso said.

"One is Williams, with the top speed that they showed through the season, and the other one will be Ferrari. Like in Canada, these long straights, short corners, chicanes and things like that, they are super-fast.

"So those two teams will be, I think, the biggest challenge for us in terms of competitiveness, and they could fight for the podium between them."

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It's a slightly surprising call by the Aston Martin driver who finished second at Zandvoort last weekend, returning his team to the podium for the first time since Montreal.

As Alonso rejoiced in the performance on his cool-down lap, the 42-year-old made the bold claim over the radio to his race engineer that Aston "will win one race soon".

But at Monza, he acknowledged that Team Silverstone will need an "extra step" – and some luck - to inflict a defeat upon the mighty Red Bull/Verstappen pair.

"There are a couple of weekends where we seem a little bit closer," he said. "And I don’t know, I felt that in Zandvoort, or let’s say the three-second places, we were close to the win.

"Obviously, we are fighting against an outstanding Max and a great goal, unbreakable. And yet, we are getting close sometimes, and we just need that extra step in terms of performance, in terms of luck, in terms of if you start at the right time, or whatever.

"So yeah, I thought, let’s be positive. After Zandvoort, in the radio, every time I open the radio, I think that I talk with my engineer. I keep forgetting that I talk to everyone in the world.

"I would like that those comments are private. But yeah, that was my feeling.

"In the remaining races, hopefully we can be in that position to fight again and have a chance to be side by side, I guess, with Max. At that point, maybe we’ll take some extra risks."

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