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Formula 1 Hungarian GP

Alonso: New Pirelli F1 tyres have hurt Aston Martin and Red Bull

Fernando Alonso has suggested that both his Aston Martin team and Red Bull have lost performance since the change of Pirelli’s Formula 1 tyre specification at Silverstone.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The revised and more robust construction emerged from R&D for 2024 and Pirelli fast-tracked its introduction for the British GP weekend in order to deal with increasing downforce levels without raising minimum pressures.

While the general consensus in the paddock was that the change didn’t make much difference to the pecking order Alonso is convinced that it has had an impact.

"We are one-tenth from McLaren, so it's not as bad as maybe the result looks,” he said. “But yeah, we need to improve, there's no doubt we made a step backwards in the last few races, and everyone did a step forward.

“Also it is a coincidence that when the new Pirelli tyres came in Silverstone there are a couple of teams that are struggling more, and a couple of teams that are very happy with the car now.

“It's not only us, I think Red Bull has clearly been hit with those tyres, they've been one-two in every qualifying, one-two in every race, and now they are not even on pole position.

“Checo [Perez] is struggling to be in the top 10. At Silverstone I think Max [Verstappen] was only three seconds in front of Lando [Norris in the race]. So I see things a little bit abnormal since Silverstone.”

Asked if his thoughts on the tyres were motivated by the stopwatch or his feelings in the car he said: "Both. I think you can feel the car a little bit different with the tyres. But as I said it is difficult to sometimes to be neutral.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images

“Obviously, we didn't improve the car much compared to the main competitors. We have every Thursday now the new parts for every team. So it's very easy now to see which teams are bringing more and more parts to the grand prix.

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“But if I look back to Red Bull after being first and second, in every practice, qualifying and race and now I think this weekend in none of the practice, in Silverstone he was only three seconds in front of Lando. I think Red Bull lost performance since Silverstone, that's a fact."

Having qualified ninth at Silverstone, the Spaniard was eighth fastest in Budapest on Saturday as he marks the 20th anniversary of his first ever grand prix victory with Renault.

"I was happy with the car,” he said when asked by Autosport about his afternoon. “We made a few changes into qualifying and I felt good, I felt fast.

"And the average time to pole position has been four or five tenths, and it's four-tenths today, so it was a normal qualifying for us.

“But obviously seven cars [ahead of] us. So I think even though if it was a normal qualifying for us, it was an outstanding qualifying for some of our main competitors. So result-wise, it's not a great Saturday."

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