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Fernando Alonso has praised Aston Martin for producing the “second-best car” after securing an “unreal” Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix podium.
The 41-year-old produced a great performance to bring his Aston Martin AMR23 home in third, securing himself on the final step of the podium at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
However, the start of the race would be a bit worrying for the Spaniard. He would make contact with teammate Lance Stroll at Turn Three. Luckily, both drivers did not suffer any damage to their AMR23’s.
After the early scare, Alonso would manage his tyre as he would look to take the battle to both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Before the first round of pitstops, Alonso managed to get past Russell, while closing into Hamilton.
After the round of pitstops, the 41-year-old was left with the task of passing former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton. The two-time world champion would execute a perfectly-timed move down into Turn 10 on the seven-time world champion for fourth place.
However, the Spaniard was not done there. He would then have a battle with fellow countryman Carlos Sainz – the pair almost came together during the encounter. After a stern defence from Sainz, Alonso was able to get past the Ferrari driver with DRS into Turn 11, managing to also pull away to secure the podium finish.
A “great weekend” for Aston Marin
Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll managed to split the two Mercedes’ to finish in a respectable sixth place. The Canadian was racing with injuries to his wrists and toes after suffering from a biking accident in Barcelona. Alonso praised the Canadian’s efforts during the race.
“First of all, I think congrats to Lance, my team-mate,” he said. “He had the surgery 12 days ago and now he’s fighting right with everybody.”
Alonso’s podium would mark the team’s second podium in Formula 1 after Sebastian Vettel’s second-placed finish in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Speaking after the race, Alonso was beaming with excitement, saying:
It was a great weekend. Finishing on the podium in the first race of the year. It is just amazing what Aston Martin did over the winter to have the second-best car on race one. This is just unreal.”
Not the best start to the race for Alonso
The Spaniard was in the wars during the opening stages of the race. Along with the contact with Stroll, the 41-year-old explained that he was squeezed out by Hamilton on the run to Turn Four.
However, after passing both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, with Charles Leclerc retiring from the race with an engine failure, the Spaniard’s podium dream became a reality.
“But we had not the best start today. We had to pass on track. It felt a little bit more exciting. More adrenaline for sure. People enjoy it. We did enjoy [it] as well.”
Aston Martin now find themselves second in the constructors’ championship, looking to build the momentum into Saudi Arabia in two weeks time.
Feature Image Credit: Eric Alonso via Getty Images