Alonso’s first Aston Martin test “very impressive”

Fernando Alonso made a strong impression on Aston Martin on his debut driving for the team in testing last week, leaving them confident they can continue their recent points-scoring form.

The recently retired Sebastian Vettel was a frequent scorer for the team in the second half of 2022. His replacement Alonso joined Aston Martin for the post-season test day at Yas Marina.

“It was very impressive,” Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said of Alonso’s test day. “Very impressive by the efficiency of transmitting the messages. It was straight to the point at all times.

“It was very friendly and open, transparent I think in both directions. So we are very pleased how this day went, really.”

Krack, who worked with Vettel early in his F1 career before being reunited with him at Aston Martin this season, said there were clear differences and similarities between him and Alonso.

“[They’re] different, yes, because they have different backgrounds,” said Krack. “One is Latin, one is German. That makes a big difference.

“But I mean, what they have in common is the focus, the focus on improving, the focus on making progress. And also isolating what makes us progress instead of maybe just being detailed. So some similarities, but also some differences.”

Krack highlighted Alonso’s frustrated reaction to his retirement in last month’s Mexican Grand Prix as an example of his drive to succeed. A power unit failure ended his race when he was running seventh.

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“This is an example of dedication and motivation,” Krack said. “If you have someone with this passion and drive to win, I think it has an impact on the team.

“We could clearly see that, how everybody was really happy to have this guy in the car last Tuesday. So I think he ignites maybe another spark from his own passion and desire to win, on to the team.”

He also revealed that there have already been “some very good conversations” with Alonso about his second season with Aston Martin in 2024 and beyond.

“This, in my opinion, can go beyond driving. Fernando joining us has been a core part of the team, and we have to see how this is going to develop. But I think he can have a big role to play in the future of the team.”

Dan Fallows, the team’s technical director, said Alonso’s experience will help guide Aston Martin’s direction of development, even if that means going in a different direction to where they worked towards with Vettel.

“I think we’re very open-minded about the direction we grow in,” said Fallows. “I’ve come from a background with Red Bull, we have people who’ve come from Mercedes and some other teams. And obviously Fernando has got very varied experience as well.

“We’re not so arrogant as to believe that we have a kind of way of doing things that we’re going to rigidly stick to. So if he can bring in the experience to us, then absolutely we’ll take it on board.”

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