Fernando Alonso: “I think we are in a decent place heading into next week”

Fernando Alonso remains cautious about the potential of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team heading into the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season despite a strong looking three days of pre-season testing last week at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Alonso, who joined Aston Martin in place of the retiring Sebastian Vettel ahead of the 2023 season, took responsibility for much of the team’s running across the three days as team-mate Lance Stroll was ruled out of testing following a cycling accident.

Alonso has high hopes for the 2023 campaign, but his feet remain firmly on the ground until they know exactly where they are compared to their rivals during the opening weekend of the season in Bahrain.

“It was a good day for us with lots of laps and we have learned a lot about the new car,” said Alonso.  “But it is only testing and we do not know what everyone else is doing so there are still many questions to answer.

“Overall, the car felt competitive across the three days, but we need to compare to the others next week. There is a lot of potential left for us to unlock and I think we are in a decent place heading into next week.

“Our goal is to make a step forward from last year and we will take things step by step.”

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin’s nominated reserve driver, took to the track on Thursday and Saturday morning in place of the injured Stroll, and Alonso was impressed with the way the 2022 FIA Formula 2 champion adapted to life behind the wheel of the AMR23.

“We have missed having Lance here this week, but I have to say Felipe adapted very well and did a good job,” said the Spaniard.