Fernando Alonso believes ninth and tenth in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was the best result possible for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team.
Hopes heading into the weekend at the Hungaroring where that Aston Martin could recapture the form that had seen Alonso take six podium finishes in the opening eight races of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.
However, the pace was not as strong as hoped, and the veteran Spaniard had a largely lonely race to finish ninth, well behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Alonso says the team will need to find a way to get back to fighting at the front of the pack after seeing them fall further behind the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team as the teams battle over second place in the Constructors’ Championship, while Ferrari and the resurgence McLaren F1 Team are also involved in the battle.
“I think three points for us was the maximum we could achieve [as a team] today,” said Alonso. “We had a bit of a lonely race with no threats behind, but we were unable to make significant ground up on our competitors ahead of us.
“It was a hot and demanding race as well and we all had to manage the tyres throughout. There have been a lot of surprises in the last few race weekends, but we need to try our best to get back to fighting at the front of the pack.
“We will analyse everything and look to bounce back at Spa next week.”
“There’s more pace to unlock” – Lance Stroll
Alonso’s thoughts were echoed by Lance Stroll, who followed his more experienced team-mate home in tenth place after a strong opening lap gave him the chance of scoring points.
Stroll feels the is pace still to unlock from Aston Martins AMR23, but they have not been able to do so in the past couple of races, something he wants the engineers to prioritise doing on the run-up to next weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
“I think P10 was the best we could have done today,” said Stroll. “I had a good first lap and I was happy with the move around the outside of [Valtteri] Bottas, but after that the pace just wasn’t up there.
“As a team, I think we have some work to do to try and understand what we can be doing better. The car is quick, but there’s more pace to unlock and that has to be our priority as the season continues.
“We’ll take these learnings into Spa next week where, as always, we’ll be pushing hard.”