The Formula One season got off to a promising start for the Silverstone-based Aston Martin team. With an astonishing seven podium finishes early on, they were seen as the main challenger to Red Bull’s supremacy in the sport. But the tables have turned, and not for the better. Signs are not good at Aston Martin, and Alonso is rumoured to be already looking towards another project.
Despite their early prowess, Aston Martin have been eclipsed in the Constructors’ Championship by Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. More worryingly, their performance problems have been exposed in recent races, including a poor showing at the United States Grand Prix.
A candid assessment from Fernando Alonso
Aston Martin’s veteran driver Fernando Alonso didn’t mince his words when discussing the team’s lacklustre performance over the past few weekends.
“The truth is that it has been difficult,” Alonso told DAZN after qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.
“We have been a bit slow all weekend, in all the sessions we have suffered, so it was no surprise to suffer and fall behind in the time trial.”
It’s worth noting that Alonso’s comments come in the context of a season in which he has been overtaken in the Drivers’ Championship by fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who drives for Ferrari. Explaining the problems plaguing the team, Alonso noted that the car was constantly on the verge of losing control.
“Yesterday we spun in the fast corners. Today we spun again in the first sector… the car is always on the edge of losing it. So we have a lot of complications.”
Team-mate Stroll’s gloomy outlook
Alonso’s team-mate, Lance Stroll, has also endured a series of disappointments. He has been eliminated in Q1 on the last five race weekends. Asked if the team’s new updates for the Mexican Grand Prix had been effective, he was succinct: “It doesn’t look like it.”
Shifting priorities: A focus on the future?
In light of these setbacks, there’s growing speculation that Aston Martin may be rethinking its strategy. What initially looked like a season ripe for Alonso’s 33rd career race win now appears to be a wash. There are signs that the team is shifting its focus to the 2024 season, potentially sacrificing its current performance in order to regain its competitive edge in the future.
As the F1 circus moves to South America for the Brazilian Grand Prix, Aston Martin’s immediate goal is to get out of Q1 and hopefully signal the start of a performance turnaround.
But as Alonso makes clear, that is easier said than done: “We have to suffer and we have to understand to get back to our best level, which logically is not what we are showing now.”
Alonso shifting priorities towards another team?
While nothing has been confirmed, a rumour that would see Alonso switch over to Red Bull Racing to replace Sergio Perez is a massive talking point, with implications not only for the drivers involved, but also for the wider F1 landscape.
A key question that emerges from this speculation is why Alonso would choose Red Bull Racing as his next destination. After a difficult period with Aston Martin, Red Bull Racing could offer Alonso the competitive edge he has been looking for. The team has consistently been a top contender, giving Max Verstappen a car capable of challenging for championships.
A dynamic duo: Alonso and Verstappen
Should Alonso join Red Bull Racing, his partnership with Max Verstappen would be nothing short of electrifying. Both drivers are renowned for their aggressive racing styles, innate ability to get the best out of their cars and insatiable thirst for victory. The prospect of these two drivers as teammates could result in a partnership that is either incredibly successful or combustible. Either way, it would undoubtedly make for compelling viewing.
What about Perez?
The speculation surrounding Alonso’s potential move has also led to questions about the future of Sergio Perez, who has had a mixed experience at Red Bull. The Mexican has had moments of brilliance, but has also struggled to keep pace with Verstappen. If Alonso replaces Perez at Red Bull, it could set off a chain reaction in the driver market. With his talent and experience, Perez would be a valuable asset to any team and his availability could spark a bidding war.
Aston Martin at a crossroads
On the other side of this rumour is Aston Martin. The loss of Alonso could be a major setback for a team already struggling for performance and consistency. The speculation underlines the fact that the team is at a crossroads, facing the challenge of not only retaining talent but also building a competitive car. If Alonso does leave, it will be a blow to the team’s ambitions and could herald a period of rebuilding.
Perhaps Alonso has feelers out there that team owner Lawrence Stroll is set to sell the team?
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