Formula One

Fernando Alonso after the Hungarian GP: “We thought we would be a little bit stronger”

Fernando Alonso during the Hungarian GP.
Photo by XPB / Icon Sport

Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso have endured a bad run of form lately and it continued in the Hungarian Grand Prix, where the Spaniard finished ninth. His teammate, Lance Stroll, was one position behind him, in tenth.

Fernando Alonso’s form as of late

The combination was the shock of the field at the start of the season, as it achieved six podiums in the season’s first eight races – including runner-up finishes at Monaco and Canada.

As a result, Alonso spent much of the season in third place in the drivers’ standings, a position which his still holds, albeit just six points ahead of a resurgent Lewis Hamilton.

But lately the team have struggled, with Alonso finishing fifth in Austria, seventh in Great Britain and ninth in Hungary, at the last three races. Things have not been better for Stroll in the meantime, as he has only scored three points.

Originally, this lack of pace was attributed to the track layouts not suiting the design of the AMR03, which excelled early in the season in slow speed corners, as well as traction zones. For that reason, it was thought that the Hungaroring would be the perfect opportunity for the team to showcase it is still in the fight for podiums.

That was not the case though. Fernando Alonso qualified eighth on Saturday, with both Alfa Romeo drivers ahead of him as well. The race did not pan out well, with Alonso getting passed by Carlos Sainz at the first corner and being unable to hold off Sergio Perez and George Russell later on.

As a result, despite Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas dropping back in the opening lap, Alonso finished a position lower than he started. With him crossing the line in ninth, it marked his worst result of the season.

Fernando Alonso’s comments on the Hungarian GP

After the race, Fernando Alonso spoke to media and admitted that Aston Martin have fallen behind their rivals and need to catch up:

I think we were not quick enough to challenge anyone in front and we didn’t have any threats behind. So three points, ninth and tenth [was] the maximum today.

Today ninth is probably our pace – so behind the Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, which is more or less what we saw in qualifying and what we saw in the race.

In Silverstone we did expect to struggle a little bit, but in Budapest we thought we would be a little bit stronger. It was not the case, so we’ll try to analyse and get back stronger in Spa next week.

This leaves Aston Martin in a vulnerable spot in terms of the constructors’ championship as well. After reaching just within three points of Mercedes in second place after the Austrian Grand Prix, they are now 39 points behind.

Ferrari are just seventeen points back and, while McLaren is 97 points behind the British squad, its performance has improved drastically and now has what is considered to be the second best car in the field. So Aston Martin needs a drastic rise in performance, as well as a bigger contribution from Lance Stroll, who fell to ninth in the drivers’ standings.

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