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Formula 1 United States GP

Alonso: F1 US GP a write off after "painful" qualifying

Fernando Alonso says Aston Martin should write off the rest of Formula 1’s 2023 United States Grand Prix and use it as a glorified test session following a “painful” qualifying.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The two-time world champion managed just 17th in the Friday shootout to determine the grid for the grand prix on Sunday, while team-mate Lance Stroll pipped only Logan Sargeant for 19th place.

This followed both of the newly upgraded AMR23s (revised floor, engine cover bodywork) having to curtail their running during the sole practice session due to front-left brake fires.

As such, Alonso was left to lament a “painful” day that Aston Martin needed to ‘completely repeat’ and reckoned that the rest of the Austin weekend should be used as a test for 2024.

He said: “We should go back and repeat the day completely starting from the morning.

“We had that terrible session. Lance didn't complete any laps; I only did six or seven quality laps with the new package. Too many unknowns in terms of how to operate the package and the new car.

“So, I think we went a bit blind into qualifying and obviously we see the results, so nothing we can do now.

“We use this weekend as a test for next year as well, even if they are painful. So, let's see what we can learn in the remaining sessions.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, settles into his seat

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, settles into his seat

Alonso missed Q2 by 0.055s but both he and Stroll reckoned the car had felt sound enough.

The Spaniard, who in-part blamed a congested track for failing to progress, continued: “It was the maximum.

“The lap was not ideal, the out-lap especially, the traffic was very badly managed. I crossed the line within one second of the limit, so I started the lap too close to the cars in front.

“So that didn't help but the lap felt OK. The pace was maybe not good enough to be in Q2.

“Let's see tomorrow if we can make a good sprint because Sunday’s race is heavily compromised now.”

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Stroll reckoned he had acclimatised swiftly to the upgraded car despite his early FP1 exit.

He added: “I didn't feel like it was a bad session. I actually felt like I was OK in the car.

“Even after no running in FP1, I feel like I've got to grips with the car pretty quickly. But we just weren't quick enough. I was hoping for more.”

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