Fernando Alonso Expresses Frustration at Aston Martin’s Poor Qualifying Performance for US Grand Prix
In a surprising turn of events, both Aston Martin drivers failed to advance beyond the Q1 stage during qualifying for the United States Grand Prix. This disappointing outcome marked the team’s worst qualifying session of the season. Fernando Alonso, one of the team’s drivers, attributed his inability to reach Q3 to being sent out too late for his final run. This decision resulted in him encountering significant traffic issues during his out lap.
Reflecting on his 17th place position, Alonso shared, “No, it was the maximum. The lap was not ideal, especially due to the bad traffic on the out lap. I started the lap too close to the cars in front, which didn’t help. Although the lap felt decent, our pace was not strong enough to secure a place in Q2. Now, our chances for Sunday’s race are heavily compromised.”
Despite the team’s struggles, Aston Martin decided to proceed with introducing upgrades for this race weekend in an attempt to regain their early-season momentum. Unfortunately, both drivers faced challenges during the practice session leading up to qualifying. A brake fire issue affected both cars, resulting in limited track time for Alonso and his teammate Lance Stroll.
Alonso expressed frustration, stating, “We had a terrible session starting from the morning. Lance didn’t complete any laps, and I only managed six or seven quality laps with the new package. We entered qualifying with too many unknowns regarding how to operate the package and the new car. It felt like we were going into qualifying blindly, and the results speak for themselves.”
As the cars are now locked into parc ferme conditions, Alonso suggested that Aston Martin should utilize the remaining race weekend as a valuable testing opportunity for next year. He acknowledged the team’s limitations, noting, “There is nothing we can do now, but these weekends serve as valuable tests even if they are painful. Let’s see what we can learn from the remaining sessions.”
Stroll, who completed only five laps during practice, also faced difficulties in avoiding another Q1 elimination. Despite this setback, he emphasized that his struggles with the handling of the AMR23 were not to blame for his poor qualifying performance. Stroll admitted, “It didn’t feel like a bad session. Even after no running in FP1, I felt comfortable with the car. However, we simply weren’t fast enough.”
Although Stroll had hoped for more following the upgrades, he remains optimistic about the race day. The Circuit of the Americas’ track configuration allows for overtaking opportunities, providing a glimmer of hope for a potential recovery. Stroll concluded, “There’s definitely an opportunity on Sunday, so let’s see what we can do.”
In summary, Fernando Alonso’s disappointment was palpable as he discussed Aston Martin’s underwhelming qualifying performance. Both drivers struggled due to various circumstances, including traffic, limited practice time, and a lack of familiarity with the team’s recent upgrades. Nonetheless, the drivers and the team remain determined to make the most out of the remaining race weekend, treating it as a valuable learning experience for future races.