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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian GP

Alonso: We "need some help" from Red Bull to win F1 races in 2023

Aston Martin will “need some help” from Red Bull if it is to win a Formula 1 race in 2023, according to its driver Fernando Alonso.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The Silverstone squad has shown race pace second only to reigning constructors’ champion Red Bull at the start of the new season, with Alonso reinstated to third place in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his team successfully appealed a 10-second reprimand for the rear jack touching the car during a pitstop penalty.

This strong form has landed at a time when Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is calling for his team to scrap its car concept as it currently sits third in the championship, level on 38 points with Aston.

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz now acknowledges that Ferrari needs an upgrade package for the SF-23 to regain second place, rather than the previous hope that set-up tweaks alone would do the trick.

Despite the upturn to surpass the two squads, though, Aston will still need “help” from a Red Bull breakdown or slow pitstop if it is to beat 2023’s dominant force to win grands prix, reckons Alonso.

In response to Max Verstappen’s comments that Aston can be victorious this season, Alonso said: “We need some help from them, but it will happen eventually when they cannot finish always first and second.”

“One day it's a pitstop, one day it's a gearbox,” Alonso added in deference to Verstappen being eliminated in Q2 in Saudi owing to a driveshaft failure on the right-hand side of his RB19.

He continued: “Max had it [in qualifying] and if he had it [in the race] he would have had to retire the car.

“So, there's going to be some circuits where maybe reliability or whatever could help us and hopefully in those races, we take the opportunity.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, 3rd position, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, 3rd position, celebrates on arrival in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar

The two-time F1 world champion added that he felt the AMR23 was closer to Red Bull on race pace on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit compared to the Bahrain opener where he also took third place.

He said of the gap: “A little bit closer. In Bahrain, they were, if they push, very far ahead.

“Here, they were ahead. They were untouchable for sure, but a little bit closer.

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“So, that was good. We led the race [after Alonso launched better than eventual victor Sergio Perez in Saudi] so we have the first picture of Aston Martin leading the Formula 1 field for two laps.

“Hopefully it’s not the last one.”

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