Aston Martin will approach 2024 with heightened expectations and therefore with intensified pressure lingering over the team, but it’s a state of affairs that Fernando Alonso hopes his team will embrace.
Aston Martin F1's 2023 campaign was a tale of two halves, with the Silverstone-based outfit enjoying a remarkable start to the season, Alonso securing six podium finishes in the opening eight races.
The surge in performance positioned as Red Bull's closest challenger and raised hopes of an outright win.
However, the second half of the season proved less successful. Despite Alonso adding two more top-three finishes to his tally, upgrade-related issues hindered the team's progress.
As a result, Aston was overtaken by Ferrari and Mercedes in the constructors' championship and ultimately finished the season in fifth place.
Despite the setbacks in the back half of the season, the outfit’s overall performance in 2023 was clearly a significant improvement on previous years.
The team accumulated 225 more points than in 2022, demonstrating its potential to compete at the front of the grid.
With continued development and investment, Aston Martin is poised to make a significant impact in the upcoming 2024 F1 season.
Alonso acknowledges the heightened expectations facing his team next year and recognizes the responsibility that comes with competing at the pinnacle of motorsport.
“This is Formula 1, not a charity event,” commented the Spaniard. “We have to have the pressure to deliver.
“The fifth in the constructors’ [standings] hurts a little bit because I think we were better than that. We were hoping for better than that at the beginning of the year.
“In the drivers’, to finish fourth is completely unexpected, completely unreal, and to fight with the guys we were fighting.
“If you are fifth in the constructors’, normally you should be ninth and 10th in the drivers’, so it’s been a dream season for many people in Aston Martin, including myself.
“For me, 2012 and this season are the best in my career, a position I couldn’t ever have imagined at the beginning of the year with the car performance we had [in 2022].”
Alonso underscored the crucial importance of Aston solidifying its upward trajectory in 2024, not only for the purpose of achieving sustained success in the future but also for securing the Spaniard’s services beyond next season.
“This is the first step of hopefully good progress in the team,” said Alonso.
“We always said this was year one of Aston Martin being competitive, a lot of changes in the team, the new factory, all of these things that we’ve been saying for a long time.
“So if next year we take a step backward that will be bad, so we need to keep moving forward.
“We finished fifth in the constructors’, but we need to improve on that next year – fourth, third, second, whatever will be welcome.
“And in my case, after eight podiums this year, hopefully, I can do something similar next.”