Aston Martin started off the year impressively, standing as the runner-up team to Red Bull. With Alonos, the team managed to garner six podium finishes within the initial eight weekends of the season. This included a commendable second-place finish in the races held in Monaco and Canada.
However, the team has experienced a slip in its rank lately. This decline was particularly evident after other teams, including Mercedes and McLaren, introduced their upgrades during most recent Grand Prix events. The outcome left Aston Martin trailing behind these teams.
Alonso, when asked to reflect on the season till now, responded, “Incredible.” He continued, “[It has been] a dream first half of the season. We are P3 in the constructors’ championship in front of Ferrari, we are P3 in the drivers’ championship together with Lewis. It was impossible to think this way in Bahrain.”
The team principal, Mike Krack, in an exclusive conversation with F1 Initiative prior to the summer shutdown, applauded the “open and transparent” relationship fostered between the team and the driver. When the news of Alonso moving to Aston was announced, it visibly caused quite a stir. The move was surprising given the noticeable disparity between Aston’s on-track performance and that of his then-employer, Alpine.
On evaluating the success of his mid-winter shift given the current unrest at Alpine, Alonso remarked: “You know, it would be nice to have a crystal ball and before you make a decision in switching teams you know the future. But yeah, you know, in the end, I’m happy where I am, and there is a project here into the future and I’m very proud.”
At 42, Alonso has proven to be an exception to the conventional belief that a driver’s skill deteriorates with age. Drawing reference to Daniel Ricciardo‘s recent return at AlphaTauri, Alonso stated that youth doesn’t hold the utmost importance in modern F1 racing. He further added that his age has been a point of conversation throughout the year, jokingly adding, “But no, I think people have already seen that there’s not a significant difference when you’re 41 or 25. It’s more about how you approach the weekend in your mind, your motivation,” He exhorted that it isn’t about being young, it is about “going fast.”