Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fernando Alonso: “Our performance in Baku was encouraging and I hope to see similar results in Miami”

Fernando Alonso is hopeful of a return to the podium this weekend in Miami after finishing just over a second away from the top three last weekend in Azerbaijan.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team driver had finished inside the top three in the opening three events of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season but had a much more difficult weekend at the Baku City Circuit, a track that seemed to suit their rivals more than them.

Alonso remains third in the Drivers’ Championship thanks to his fourth-place finish last weekend, with the veteran Spaniard feeling Aston Martin performed well despite limited track time prior to Qualifying on Friday afternoon.

However, as Formula 1 heads to the United States for the first of three events in the country this weekend, Alonso remains confident of a positive weekend as they bid to continue their strong start to the season.

“It’s good to be back in Miami!” said Alonso.  “It’s a great place to visit for Formula 1 and we’re excited for our first Grand Prix of the year in the United States.

“I have always enjoyed visiting this country and I enjoy the approach and passion for sports here. We are fresh from an intense weekend in Baku that saw us score 22 points as a team and finishing just one second away from another podium on Sunday. The car performed well despite having limited time to setup.

“The circuit in Miami is a fast one, with lots of sweeping corners and long straights. It’ll be interesting to see if the resurfacing has had an impact on the track and we’ll get plenty of time to assess this on Friday.

“Our performance in Baku was encouraging and I hope to see similar results in Miami. We will be aiming to outscore our closest rivals again and put on a good show for the fans.”

“You need to take some risks but you can get punished for overstepping the mark” – Lance Stroll

Team-mate Lance Stroll also scored good points in Azerbaijan and is bidding to secure a fourth top ten finish in five events and extend his best start to a Formula 1 season.

Miami was not a strong weekend for the Canadian last year, but he is hopeful of a much better time of it this year, and he will be pushing hard to move up a few positions in the Driver’s Championship standings.

Stroll says the Miami circuit is how a street circuit should be, both fast and hard to drive, and with the need to take risks he knows that any mistake is likely to be punished with the walls right at the edge of the circuit.

“It’s great to be in Miami and to be getting straight back behind the wheel after a busy weekend in Azerbaijan,” Stroll said.  “It’s always incredible to see just how much the sport’s popularity has grown in the US and I love seeing the grandstands packed full of fans. Hopefully we can put on a good show for them!

“I have mixed emotions from last year; I had to start from the pits due to an issue before the race, but managed to fight back through the field and finished in tenth which was a pretty good result. The track itself is fast but hard: how a street circuit should be.

“You need to take some risks but you can get punished for overstepping the mark. That’s how I like it, though! As always, we’ll be pushing hard this weekend to ensure we come away from the double-header knowing we made the most of every possible opportunity to score points.”

Lance Stroll has scored points in three of the opening four races – Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team