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Fernando Alonso during pre season testing for Aston Martin.
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“Outstanding” Fernando Alonso making immediate impact at Aston Martin

F1 veteran Alonso is not wasting any time with his new team, writes Jay Winter

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Fernando Alonso is not beating around the bush ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season, making an immediate impact at Aston Martin with “extremely precise” feedback to improve the AMR23, which is set to launch on February 13.

Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin Formula 1 car.
Fernando Alonso replaced the retiring Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin (Credit Aston Martin Twitter)

Alonso tested the 2022 Aston Martin in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and was able to provide an immediate comparison between the AMR2022 and his Alpine A522.

By providing such quick feedback, the team were able to take Alonso’s thoughts and put them straight into their 2023 car over the winter.

In an interview with Aston Martin, Deputy Technical Director Eric Blandin opened up on the Spanish driver and how the 41-year-old is helping the team progress.

“Fernando’s feedback is extremely precise,” Blandin said.

‘He clearly communicated what he wants from the car and immediately identified a few things that we’ve been able to feed into the design of the AMR23.

“Last season, Fernando drove a car that was quite different from ours – and more competitive.

“After driving the AMR22, he was quickly able to compare the two cars and say, ‘this is clearly better, this is clearly worse, and this is what we should focus on.’

Is this all an upgrade for Alonso?

At first glance, it looks as if ‘Nando’ is dropping down the grid after moving from Alpine, who finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship last season, to Aston Martin, who were lucky to get a car into Q2, finishing seventh overall behind Alfa Romeo.

However, with the sheer amount of money moving behind Lawrence Stroll’s team and Alpine’s disorganised nature (the Piastri saga), it can be understood why Alonso wants to lead Aston Martin back up the ladder.

“Fernando is an outstanding driver,” Blandin said.

“There aren’t many drivers of his calibre on the grid – you can count them on one hand.

He’s so passionate, so driven… extremely driven. After everything he’s achieved, he still has that restless hunger to win.

“Signing Fernando was massive for the team. He’s going to push us a lot and help take us to the next level.

“He’ll push Lance, too. They’ll complement each other and he’ll bring out the best in him. We have a very strong driver pairing, and it’s up to us to give them a competitive car.

“We can have the best driver pairing on the grid, but it won’t count for much if we don’t give them a fast car. We need to deliver.”

Aston Martin will be under pressure to deliver a competitive car for the former World Champion as Lawrence Stroll looks to see his team return to the greatness of the Racing Point days.

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