Wins possible after 'perfect start' in Bahrain - Alonso

Steven Tee/Motorsport Images

Wins possible after 'perfect start' in Bahrain - Alonso

Formula 1

Wins possible after 'perfect start' in Bahrain - Alonso


Fernando Alonso believes he could pick up a victory this season after finishing on the podium in his first race for Aston Martin in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Aston Martin impressed throughout pre-season testing and practice in Bahrain, before Alonso ended up fifth on the grid ahead of both Mercedes drivers. The race pace was even stronger as Alonso was able to close down and pass Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz at different stages, with Charles Leclerc’s retirement seeing him finish third and leaving a win a realistic target.

“I would say yes, because when you are P3 on race one, there are 22 opportunities this season,” Alonso said. “Even last year, I remember in Canada — wet qualifying — we were first row of the grid. Anything can happen in 22 races with different conditions.

“I will try my best to have the opportunity. Maybe we need some help. Last year we needed some help from the top teams just to get a podium. Maybe this year if there is this help or some retirements in front of us, or some problems, maybe it’s more than a podium. Let’s hope for that.”

Alonso says the target had been to get Aston Martin ahead of the rest of the midfield this season but he had never believed the team could break into the battle with the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes.

“Obviously a perfect start to this project. We didn’t expect to be that competitive. The aim in 2023 was getting the mix in the midfield, leading that midfield and getting close to the top three teams. But even a podium was maybe not on the radar in 2023, and we found ourselves second-best car today in Bahrain (for) the whole weekend, just behind Red Bull.

“So this is a little bit of a surprise. We are extremely proud, happy with the job done at Silverstone in the factory, so big congratulations to everyone. Let’s enjoy this moment and build from here hopefully a good 2023 campaign and get closer and closer to the top guys.”

Alonso’s race was almost ruined by his teammate on the opening lap, though, as Lance Stroll ran into the back of him, but both managed to continue.

“Apparently into Turn 4, I thought it was George (Russell). I saw the replay on TV later, and I saw it was Lance. He had a very good start, you know, because he was alongside me into Turn 4. We got lucky; two cars didn’t have any problems and managed to continue. It was our lucky day for many things. We do contact, and also to be both cars with strong points. I’m very happy with the team, because they deserve it.”

Presented by