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Alonso: "Football" mentality not right way to judge Aston Martin's F1 season

Fernando Alonso says a new mentality of judging Formula 1 teams "like football" where "only the last result" counts is not right for assessing his first year with Aston Martin.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

After switching from Alpine, Alonso's 2023 got off to a positive start with six podiums in the opening eight races, as Aston was transformed into Red Bull's regular closest rival with its work on the downwash car concept over the winter.

As Mercedes and Ferrari initially ploughed on with their respective 'zeropod' and inwash 'bathtub' approaches to upper aerodynamic car surfaces, they then made the call to head down the downwash route a year after Aston had done so early in the 2022 campaign.

Their resurgent form, allied with McLaren's results improving dramatically since it overhauled its MCL60 car with several Red Bull-inspire developments, have contributed to Alonso only scoring one more podium since July's Austrian GP weekend.

Since its great start to 2023, Aston also struggled with having to recover from its own incorrect development path choices, plus it was also among the teams advised to make changes to front wing designs as part of the FIA's early flex-wing investigations.

But when asked by Autosport if he felt 2023 showing two very different sets of results matched what he had experienced within Aston, Alonso disagreed.

"No, I think it has been [a] more consistent feeling and season than maybe the results are showing," he said in the pre-race press conference for this weekend's Mexican GP.

"We've always been balancing the ups and also the downs. We've always been very focused on the performance of the car and trying to get better as a team.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team,

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team,

"Two years ago, this organisation was 250 people. And now we are just a few points away of [the] very top teams in the constructors' championship and tasting the podium a few times this year.

"We have this new factory as well – a lot of new people that came to the team – and around 200 points more than last year. So, it has been an incredible 2023 campaign for Aston Martin.

"I know that we are more and more like football here and only the last result seems to count.

"But we cannot forget where we've come from and what the project is about. So, I'm very proud of this season so far."

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Alonso said his focus for the final four races of 2023 was about finishing "on a high in the remaining races and we can taste the podium one more time, at least".

"And then go into 2024 I think a lot more confident that this year," he added. "I think we started the [2022-2023] winter just hoping that the project was taking the right direction after a difficult 2022.

"[But] we learned a lot of things throughout the season – a lot of things also off-track [such as] development of the car during the season, direction of development.

"So, it has been a very important championship – not only for the results themselves, [but] for the team to get a contender [mentality] for the future.

"It has been a very important season and I'm very proud and happy."

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