Sunday, May 19, 2024

Alonso Keen to see Aston Martin ‘Keep up the Development Push’ to Maintain Strong Start

Fernando Alonso is aiming for a fourth consecutive top three finish this weekend in Azerbaijan, although the Spaniard knows it will not be easy during the first sprint weekend of the season.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver has finished each of the first three races of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season in third place, with the AMR23 proving to be competitive on every type of track so far this season.

It’s been nearly four weeks since the Australian Grand Prix concluded, and Alonso says he arrives at the Baku City Circuit with his batteries recharged ready for the challenge ahead.

“It’s good to be back after a few weeks away from racing,” said Alonso.  “I have recharged the batteries after a high adrenaline start to the season, and I am now looking forward to Baku.

“The circuit presents us drivers with a unique challenge, as we face lots of tight slow-speed street sections and then extremely high-speed straights that create lots of opportunities for risk and reward.

“I’m excited to see the return of the Sprint this weekend too. We’ve seen some fun races in the past there and I’m sure it’ll be no different, especially now with two qualifying sessions and two races.

“After three races we know our car better, but we need to pick-up where we left off in Australia and keep up the development push over the next few races.” 

“We need to hit the ground running” – Lance Stroll

Team-mate Lance Stroll secured his best finish of the season so far in Australia when he came home fourth, and the Canadian is looking to build on that result at the venue where he took his maiden podium finish in Formula 1 back in 2017.

Stroll has been playing catch up after breaking bones in his hands just prior to pre-season testing that forced him to miss his running on board the AMR23, but he has shown himself to be extremely capable behind the wheel of the car in the opening three races.

With just one free practice session this weekend prior to Qualifying, Stroll knows it will be important to hit the ground running on Friday to ensure Aston Martin have a competitive car in all conditions.

“It’s been good to have a short break after a busy few races, but nothing compares to racing and, given the strong start to the season, I can’t wait to get back out there,” said Stroll. 

“Baku is a venue that holds great memories for me – taking my first podium in Formula One back in 2017 – and we enter this weekend hoping to continue our early-season form. In general, it is a wild ride, a really fun track.

“We also will have the first Sprint of the year this weekend and with another new format, which I think will be great for the fans. We need to hit the ground running as there will be little time to prepare for qualifying and the races, but the team have done a fantastic job this year so I know we’re up for the challenge.”

Lance Stroll knows it is important to start the weekend strongly in Azerbaijan with only one hour of practice before Qualifying begins – Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team