Fernando Alonso will need help from Red Bull to capture an elusive 33rd career victory: PlanetF1
Stuck on 32 career wins spanning less than 10 years, Fernando Alonso believes his AMR23 will win a top prize but will need “some help” from Red Bull.
While Alonso’s decision to join Aston Martin in Alpine this winter raised some eyebrows, it turned out to be an inspired call.
The Spaniard has two podiums in two races, P3 in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. But the gap in Bahrain was huge, with the driver dropping to 38th behind race winner Max Verstappen, 20th at the Jeddah circuit.
The two-time world champion believes his 33rd victory, which awaited his last P1 at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, is just around the corner.
But, he admits the Red Bulls will need something to go wrong to make that happen.
“We need their help,” he said according to The Race, “but it will happen in the end, when they can’t always finish first and second.
“One day it will be a [botched] pit stop, one day is a gearbox. Max had it on Saturday [a failure] – if he had it on Sunday, he would have to withdraw the car.
“So there will be some circuits where maybe reliability or whatever can help us and hopefully we can take advantage of those races.”
For now he will take some comfort from having reduced the deficit in Saudi Arabia with the slightly untouchable RB19.
“I think if they had pushed in Bahrain they would have been very far ahead. And here they were before, they were untouchable for sure, but a little closer,” he said. “So that was good.
“We were leading the race, so we have the first picture of Aston Martin driving through the Formula 1 field for two laps, and hopefully not the last.”
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The former driver is doing better: “He is a candidate for the title, of course”
Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos believes that Alonso will not only win races this season, but also fight for the World title.
His back-to-back third place with 30 points puts the Spaniard third in the Drivers’ standings, 14 behind championship leader Verstappen.
“He’s a title contender, of course!” Enthusiastic Doornbos Motorsport.com. “You have to admit that. When you have such a good car… [Lance Stroll’s car] it was not reliable, but it is fast.
“On two different types of tracks, Alonso could compete for the podium.
“They still lack a bit of speed compared to Red Bull, but in a full season… Of course it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
He added that the 42-year-old has a “serious opportunity”. He feels it because you see it shine and shine. I haven’t seen a picture of him looking rude.’
But, and there’s always a but, says Doornbos: “I think he realizes very well that he doesn’t have Verstappen’s speed in the car in terms of speed. Max is also now a web man. If Alonso joins and takes advantage of a mistake, like what happened on Saturday, of course he does it immediately.”
Mike Krack doesn’t think Red Bull can hold onto the lead
Red Bull once again had a marathon gap between themselves and Aston Martin, Silverstone’s Mike Krack believes the gap will close in time.
But it remains to be seen if it’s Aston Martin that does that or Ferrari and Mercedes.
“It’s a long season,” he said Sky Deutschland. “I don’t think Red Bull will keep the lead.
“We still have two big teams behind us to catch everything. The audience must be patient and continue to watch Formula 1.’
As for when Aston Martin will bring its first major upgrade package of the season, the German admits it’s a balancing act.
“We have to weigh,” he explained, “what you do with the costs when and where you are.
“If you take too many shots straight away, you won’t have it later. You have to decide based on where your car is. Parts will definitely come.’