As he races to third place in Miami, the Spaniard knows his next Formula 1 win could be just around the corner. After only managing fourth place in Baku, Fernando Alonso was back on the podium at the Miami Grand Prix.
It was the fourth third place for the Aston Martin driver this season. But mixed in with the joy is the hunger to do even better.
Alonso followed “the race pretty well on TV”
Competing in a Formula 1 race and watching a bit of TV on the side – that’s possible if your name is Fernando Alonso – as the Spaniard came out with a ‘winner’ that went viral.
On Sunday, the Aston Martin driver was apparently not under any pressure and in the closing stages of the race, he was pleased to hear on the radio about an overtaking manoeuvre by his team-mate Lance Stroll, which had taken place much further back in the field.
“What position is Lance fighting for?” he asked his crew, “that was a great manoeuvre in turn one!”.
On the internet, fans celebrated Alonso for the interjection and the clip of the scene quickly went viral on social media. Later, Alonso cheerfully clarified: “There are big screens everywhere next to the track. I was able to follow the race pretty well on TV.”
Alonso was quite far behind the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, but the supposed top teams Mercedes and Ferrari could not put any pressure on him.
“It was a lonely race, I thought it would be a bit more difficult,” said the 41-year-old.
Alonso does not give up hope of next win
However, after the race in Miami, Alonso says that Aston Martin has to accept that Red Bull is still a clear step ahead. The gap to race winner Max Verstappen was 26 seconds, to Sergio Perez 20.
Nevertheless, the 41-year-old believes that there will come a weekend when Red Bull makes a mistake – and Aston Martin can then take advantage of that opportunity.
“Of course we want to make a step up on the podium to be second and maybe one day have the opportunity to win a race,” Alonso said. “But it hasn’t happened yet because Red Bull are better than us.”
Alonso lurks for a win
“They are stronger, faster and also the reliability has always been excellent with them because they have finished both cars in every race. But if one day there is a crack, we have to make sure we are there and we don’t make mistakes at any point of the weekend,” said the Spaniard.
Although Alonso was able to match Red Bull’s pace in some race stints, his rival still has a significant lead over the entire Grand Prix distance.
That’s why he thinks it’s premature to believe Aston Martin can make a move to challenge the world champion. But the 32-time race winner hints that things could change as the season progresses.
Focus on constructors’ championship
“I think the year is going to be difficult,” Alonso said when asked about his chances of winning this Formula One season. “The gap is quite big, even though I think we have shown our best race pace here this season.”
“We finished, I think, closest to the front in this race, with no safety cars and no problems in the race. And we are still pretty fast. So let’s wait and see. The season is still going to be long.”
“Hopefully we’ll be a little bit closer at some of the tracks, and some of the upgrades that are coming might put us in a different, more competitive position.”
“But I think our main focus is honestly on looking backwards and trying to keep Mercedes and Ferrari under control in the constructors’ championship. We have to accept that Red Bull are doing a better job than everyone else and we have to do a better job.”