Alonso: It's too good to be true!
Fernando Alonso has become one of the main characters of the weekend in Bahrain…
Fernando Alonso has become one of the main characters of the weekend in Bahrain and in honor of this event, he gave an interview where he spoke about his emotions and impressions after the Grand Prix.
Question: In Bahrain, you have reached the podium for the 99th time in your career. How pleasant is this moment for you?
Fernando Alonso: A great start to our project. We didn't expect to be so competitive. Our goal in 2023 was to fight in the middle group of teams, possibly at the head of this group, in order to eventually get closer to the three strongest teams.
We didn't even think about the podium in 2023. And here in Bahrain we were second after Red Bull.
A little unexpected. But we are proud of this result, which was the result of the work of all our employees at the base in Silverstone. I congratulate them on this achievement. Let's enjoy this moment and continue working in the hope of a successful season that will allow us to get closer to the top teams.
Question: After this weekend, will you reconsider your expectations?
Fernando Alonso: We'll see. After the tests, I thought to myself that everything was too good to be true. And I was waiting for the first Grand Prix to bring us back to reality. But in Bahrain, it turned out that everything is real.
We'll see in Jeddah. It is interesting for me to perform in Jeddah and in Australia – these are very different tracks. In Bahrain, we were strong in those aspects that we might not find in Jeddah and Australia. But if we are strong in the next two races, then the 2023 season could be a success.
Question: What do you say about the fight with Hamilton and Sainz?
Fernando Alonso: I enjoyed it because I ended up ahead. It always happens when you overtake. But yes, we always say this, but when you are fighting in a leadership group, fighting with these great drivers, there is always more adrenaline.
I didn't want to make a mistake or make contact, because it wasn't about fighting for 12th place when you don't lose anything – this time we were fighting for big points. And yes, I was happy. And the car was very pleasant to drive. This was probably our strong point throughout the tests.
Question: On the first lap, you had contact with your teammate…
Fernando Alonso: Yes, in the fourth corner. I thought it was George, but I watched the replay and realized it was Lance. He started very well, he was next to me in the fourth corner. We were lucky that both cars were not damaged and were able to drive on.
Question: Fernando, does your car have any weaknesses that need to be improved? Have we heard you talk about the need to avoid curbs? Were you worried about this?
Fernando Alonso: No. But the situation was comfortable for me, so I slowed down and informed the team that I could have gone faster, but avoided the curbs and just brought the car home.
There are several areas in which we need to add, but I will not talk about them. Now the main thing is our new project, a new car, a new Aston Martin – this is just the beginning.
This is not the final car, this is only the first version of the concept that we were engaged in in the winter.
In Red Bull and Ferrari, we finalized the last project, we created a new one, changing 95% of the car. We still have a lot to do. I fully trust our team, they know what they are doing. Let's hope for further progress in the very near future.
Question: Tell us how you overtook Lewis in turn 10?
Fernando Alonso: We weren't very fast in the straight. Usually here you overtake either in the first or in the fourth corner, but I passed Lewis in the tenth and Carlos in the eleventh. Not exactly the usual places to overtake, but we couldn't match their speed on the straight.
So yes, I had to shift several times before the 10th and 11th turns, change the trajectory - and overtake. I think it was unexpected for Lewis, because no one overtakes in turn 10. And then it happened again with Carlos, but already in the 11th.