Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso shocked the F1 world with a spectacular 3rd place during the 2023 Formula 1 season opener at the Bahrain International Circuit. A 1-2 finish for Red Bull may be a sign of a boring, predictable season as Mercedes-AMG struggled, but Alonso and Aston Martin stealing the show. The team had garnered significant hype leading up to the race, thanks to their impressive performances during testing and practice. However, few could have predicted the incredible podium finish they achieved in the season opener.
Alonso and Aston Martin’s success was evident from the start. They topped the free practice session and secured fifth place in the qualifying round, just behind the Red Bull and Ferrari machines. This paved the way for Alonso’s tenacious racecraft, which ultimately led to a third-place finish in the race.
The race was filled with thrilling scraps, including a multi-lap battle between Alonso and the Mercedes pair, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. The two world champions fought tooth and nail, with Alonso ultimately emerging victorious thanks to a clever move into Turn 10. Alonso then set his sights on fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz, passing him with the help of DRS down the back straight in the closing stages of the race.
The excitement of the race was palpable, and Alonso was visibly ecstatic with his team’s success. Speaking after the race, he expressed his surprise and pride, stating that their aim was to be in the mix with the midfield, and maybe even lead it, with the hope of eventually getting closer to the top three teams. A podium finish was not even on their radar, but they managed to secure the second-best car of the whole weekend, just behind Red Bull.
Alonso also spoke about the potential need for Aston Martin to reset their targets for the season ahead. He acknowledged the feeling of being too good to be true, but with their impressive performance, it seems real. He remains curious about the upcoming races in Jeddah and Australia, two very different circuits from Bahrain, and is eager to see if they will continue to perform well.
The race was not without its challenges for Aston Martin. Alonso had a lucky escape on the first lap when his teammate Lance Stroll tagged him under braking for Turn 4. Despite this, Stroll managed to take sixth place in the other Aston Martin, nursing injuries sustained in a pre-season training accident. Their success led to a second-place finish in the constructors’ standings.
Alonso’s return to the sharp end was a welcome sight for F1 fans, and he reveled in being back in the thick of things. He enjoyed the intensity of fighting wheel-to-wheel with great drivers and champions like Hamilton and Sainz. He was also happy with how the car felt, noting that it was nice to drive and that driving for another hour would not have been an issue.
Aston Martin’s success was surprising, but it seems real, and they are eager to build on it for a good 2023 campaign. Fans can look forward to the upcoming races in Jeddah and Australia, where Aston Martin will have the chance to prove their worth on different circuits.
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