In the initial qualifying rounds, Spanish racer Alonso secured the 10th and 9th positions, eventually concluding the third qualifier (Q3) in the 10th place. Astonishingly, this outcome marks Alonso’s poorest grid performance for the 2023 season thus far.
At the onset of the season, the athlete expressed concerns regarding the team’s lack of straightline speed, a weakness that has yet to be rectified. Intriguingly, Williams‘ car has consistently demonstrated impressive performance on high-speed tracks, which Alonso’s team has yet to match.
Alonso candidly confessed, “From our opener in Bahrain, the car’s deficits were glaringly obvious, which remain the same. We expected potential struggles in Monza due to these issues”. He further conveyed a hopeful outlook for the remaining races, which he believes may be more matched to their car’s attributes.
To add to their difficulties, Alonso failed to secure a tow during the Q3, a seemingly minor disadvantage, but that failed to improve the position on the grid. With no qualms, the sportsman remarked, “Though disgruntled by the lack of tow initially, with subsequent P9 results being four or five-tenth distant, the quest soon became futile. Our current position is merited”.
Highlighting the urgent need to make their car more competitive on such tracks, Alonso voiced, “Williams has been a prime example, outshining us on these tracks. That’s what we need to work towards”. The Spaniard believes that the features of Monza‘s tracks were not compatible with their car and contributed to the tough weekend they experienced.
Elucidating on his thoughts, Alonso shared, “Monza‘s track design does not favor our car. The aerodynamic efficiency and drag level are pivotal here, with only six corners and more straight paths”. As anticipated, this yielded a challenging weekend and concluded with a tenth-place in the qualifying rounds.
Nonetheless, Alonso assures, “We have nothing significant to lose. Even a debacle might only push us to a 13th or 14th place”. He encourages a positive outlook, musing that if all goes well, they could even make it within the top six or seven.
Alonso’s co-driver, Lance Stroll experienced a more challenging time, unable to advance beyond the 20th and last place in the first qualifying round. When asked about his tribulations by F1 Initiative, Stroll admitted, “It was undeniably tough, with a complete lack of grip in the car”. He disclosed that the cause behind the car’s disappointing performance remains unknown, speculating on factors such as missing laps on Friday or a generally poor handling of the car this session.