Fernando Alonso made an “instant” impact on his new Aston Martin Formula 1 team by suggesting design changes after just one day in the car, the team have revealed.
Alonso departed Alpine to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel alongside Lance Stroll for the 2023 season, and first drove for his new squad during the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test.
The AMR22 was stripped to its base colour with all sponsors removed for the running and Alonso reported that he was impressed by the car, which had claimed seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship for Aston following a late season rally.
Eric Blandin – the team’s Deputy Technical Director – has explained how Alonso was already suggesting tweaks for the AMR23 after that initial outing at the Yas Marina circuit.
Aston reveal Alonso impact
“Fernando’s feedback is extremely precise,” explained Blandin, who previously worked with Alonso during his days at Ferrari.
“He clearly communicated what he wants from the car and immediately identified a few things that we’ve been able to feed into the design of the AMR23.
“Last season, Fernando drove a car that was quite different from ours – and more competitive [with Alpine finishing fourth in the Constructors’ Championship].
“After driving the AMR22, he was quickly able to compare the two cars and say: ‘This is clearly better, this is clearly worse, and this is what we should focus on.'”
Aston must deliver for Alonso
Under owner Lawrence Stroll, Aston have embarked on an ambitious project to become front-runners in F1, with an all-new factory being built at their Silverstone base.
After two seasons of being stuck in the lower midfield, the target for the team in 2023 is to edge towards the front of it, with Blandin suggesting that Alonso’s arrival will take the outfit “to the next level.”
“Fernando is an outstanding driver. There aren’t many drivers of his calibre on the grid – you can count them on one hand,” he said.
“He’s so passionate, so driven… extremely driven. After everything he’s achieved, he still has that restless hunger to win.
“Signing Fernando was massive for the team. He’s going to push us a lot and help take us to the next level.
“He’ll push Lance, too. They’ll complement each other and he’ll bring out the best in him. We have a very strong driver pairing, and it’s up to us to give them a competitive car.
“We can have the best driver pairing on the grid, but it won’t count for much if we don’t give them a fast car. We need to deliver.”