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Alonso willing to take “extra risk” as Aston Martin closes on first F1 win

Fernando Alonso has explained why he’s told his Aston Martin Formula 1 team that a win is on the way – and suggested that he’ll take more risks to earn one.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, leads Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

In last weekend’s Dutch GP Alonso and Aston had their most competitive race since Canada in June, with the Spaniard charging up to second and chasing Max Verstappen across the line after the restart following the red flag.

Alonso has generally been cautious this season when talking about form, but on his in-lap he said “we will win one race soon, we are getting closer.”

Zandvoort was his seventh podium, and third second place, of the 2023 season.

“There are a couple of weekends where we seem a little bit closer,” he said when asked by Autosport to explain the message.

“I felt that in Zandvoort, or let’s say the three second places, we were close to the win. We are fighting against an outstanding Max and Red Bull, unbreakable.

“We are getting close sometimes, and we just need that extra step in terms of performance, in terms of luck, in terms of pitstop in the right time or whatever. So yes, I thought, let's be positive after Zandvoort.

“Every time I open the radio, I think that I talk with my engineer, and I keep forgetting that I talk to everyone in the world, and I would like that those comments are private.

“But that was my feeling, and in the remaining races hopefully we can be in that position to fight again and have a chance to be side-by-side I guess with Max, and at that point maybe take some extra risk.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack agreed that Alonso’s words were a boost for the entire staff of the Silverstone outfit.

“It's motivational, and it's nice to hear for the team and it's also important for everybody at home listening to this,” he said when asked by Autosport about the impact of Alonso's words. “It's basically the best moment to do a motivational speech.

“And that was very nice to hear for everybody, and that means also smiling faces when you come back home. But there is a difference in saying it and doing it. So we really have to work hard to close that gap and make it happen.”

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Asked if Aston could beat Verstappen and Red Bull in normal circumstances, Krack said: “They're very good. I think this is the first thing we have to acknowledge. The combination between Max and that car, they are outstanding.

“I think also Fernando alluded to that, that it is maybe not even recognised enough. The level is very high and I'm not saying that he has to be in trouble to do it. We have to see how they will develop over the next races.

“If this happens, you have to be in the position to pick it up, and there have now been four, five, six races where we would not have been in that position. So I think that's why we need to stay humble and do our best and see what happens.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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