on the podium in Bahrain, Fernando Alonso offers himself a second youth with Aston Martin

For the first Grand Prix of the season and his first race with Aston Martin, the Spanish veteran created a sensation.

If the presence of a double world champion on the podium in Bahrain, Sunday March 5, left little doubt, that of two double world champions was less predictable. And yet, Fernando Alonso joined Max Verstappen there, at the end of a breathtaking race during which his Aston Martin dominated the Mercedes and the Ferraris. A result not so surprising given the performance of the British single-seater during winter tests and free practice.

“The car is very pleasant to drive”, explained with appetite Fernando Alonso when he had not yet crossed the finish line in Bahrain. Best time of free practice 2 and 3 this weekend, the 41-year-old Spaniard offered himself a 99e career podium, the first since November 2021 in Qatar, which will undoubtedly call for a hundredth, symbolic, during the season. This will require that his Aston Martin continues to hold up well, with much better management of tire degradation than its competitors.

From change to technical direction

Seventh in the constructors’ standings last year, the British team has worked hard during the 2022 season and this winter to deliver a high-performance car. For this, it recruited, in April 2022, as technical director, the Briton Dan Fallows, former lieutenant of Adrian Newey, the technical director of Red Bull, who has designed many world champion single-seaters since 1990. Under his houlette, nearly 95% of the elements of the single-seater have been modified compared to the 2022 car, with success. “It was a long winter, a lot of time had to be spent in the factory, a lot of work. We knew the numbers in the wind tunnel were good, but we had to wait and see what it would be like in the race.“, explained Fernando Alonso at the microphone of Canal+ after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

From the winter tests, the Aston Martin had impressed, showing itself to be very efficient over long stints. According to Dan Fallows, she had by then reached “aggressive goals” that she had set herself. And according to Fernando Alonso, this is just the beginning: “The car is just the base, the beginning of this project. When I talk to the designers, they tell me that very important things are going to happen, evolutions in the next races and in the next Grand Prix and it fills you up. of excitement to see the hunger of the whole team”.

After leaving Alpine, not necessarily on very good terms, Fernando Alonso seems to find a second youth with Aston Martin. “He brings an indescribable energy, he is extremely positive, constructive, and he helps us to develop the car. It’s fantastic to have him.“, testifies Mike Krack, the director of the team, at the microphone of Canal+. Accomplice with his teammate Lance Stroll, he did not fail to congratulate him after his sixth place, a great performance not to be overlooked for the Canadian, operated on his wrist less than two weeks ago and who had therefore not taken take part in the winter tests.

Thanks to these results, Aston Martin already has 23 points from the first race, while it had scored 55 over the whole of last season. And if the Red Bulls experience a failure, there is no doubt that Alonso will be on the lookout to try to afford a first victory since his last, in 2013, in Barcelona, ​​with Ferrari. Almost in another life.

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