Fernando Alonso already felt like a podium had been missed when Sergio Perez pulled ahead of him on the penultimate lap – but he ended up on the podium. In addition to their incredible battle, he also spoke about how important it was for Aston Martin to confirm this result, which has been struggling in recent weeks.
In Austin, he also said he was confident Aston Martin would get back on its feet and would still get a podium spot this year, but in Mexico he did talk about the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to get on the podium. A podium again in 2023. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, Brazil brought the sudden resurrection of the Silverstone team, and that was more than enough for Alonso, he took care of the rest himself.
While it’s safe to say they were lucky with the conditions in Friday’s qualifying session, there was no doubting the luck in Sunday’s race. Alonso’s second position on the grid proved key to his third place finish ahead of eighth-placed Sergio Perez, but his success required more than that. All his experience, knowledge and determination. The famous calculator’s ruthlessness and adaptability led him to those unique and wide curves resulting in good acceleration, where his opponent could not handle him so much that he only had one chance to attack.
He also needed his indomitable willpower, which drives him even at the age of 42 and keeps him among the world’s elite. Thus, he beat Perez in the last round, when he actually thought he had lost, according to his own admission.
“It was intense. To be honest, it was a little easier for me. In the last five laps I thought I had everything under control, but then when I started pushing five laps from the end, it got closer. I didn’t understand where his speed was coming from.” .
“He passed me with two laps to go and I thought it was all over. But in the last lap I had another chance and I took it. He was very close to the line. Very aggressive maneuvering, but there was respect. I’m happy that we put on a good show with Chico.” “
The Spanish veteran said with a broad smile.
British Sky Sports Perez confronted him, praising him for his sportsmanship. Alonso agreed that it was a quality fight, and also praised his purely competitive opponent. “This was great. An aggressive but clean battle with Chico. He is known for finishing races, always fighting hard, keeping both cars on track.
“I knew it was coming, I knew it was dangerous. And to be honest, it was probably harder than I thought. With five laps to go, I thought I had everything under control and I started pushing. Then I looked in the rearview mirror and said: ‘Oh!’ He may also have spared the tires, and is also a strong candidate for the podium!
Alonso admitted that he lost hope for a moment after passing Perez. “Honestly, I thought I had lost my chance of being in the top six. I went into an outside corner, changed the corner, but I picked up a lot of rubber and the tires got dirty and started shaking. I thought, OK, it’s over.”
“Then I wanted another chance in two or four with the DRS, hard and late braking. I think he knew that too, which is why he braked so late before each turn and missed the apex by a metre. This gave him an opportunity to try for fourth. “It was unexpected to be honest. When I lost, I thought it was over.”
This success belongs to the team
The current third place finish was a quick response from Aston Martin after the last few weeks, which had already indicated that their team was completely decimated by the end of the year. For Alonso, this, in addition to the team bonus, was an additional incentive. He continued: “In the last two months, we have had some difficulties regarding the speed and direction of the car. We seem to have understood some things regarding the settings and the car as well.”
“It belongs to the team now because they have put in a lot of work to understand this package. Today’s result is a huge boost for everyone.”
“I’m happy for the team. We struggled in the last two races, but we never took our eyes off the goal. We delved into the analysis and stayed united and it was great to see the last two times what kind of team this is.”
They asked how much this third place meant to them. “It means a lot. The podium is great, but more importantly is the feeling of competitiveness again. We understood some things in the previous races. It was a good lesson with a mature team, here and at the factory. It was good to experience the determination, dedication and team unity. This This makes me confident for next year as well.”
What the remaining two weekends hold for Aston Martin is now more unpredictable. However, Alonso is looking forward to continuing. “After the last two races, we were a little down, worried about the last part of the year, but now I can’t wait to go to Vegas. So it’s good.”