Alonso keeps pressure on for constant car upgrades

Mon, 11 March 2024, 09:00

Mar.11 (GMM) Fernando Alonso is keeping the pressure on Aston Martin high, amid continuing speculation about his looming contract negotiations for 2025.

The 42-year-old Spaniard, linked with sensational switches to top teams Mercedes or even Red Bull for next year, qualified an impressive P4 before finishing P5 in Saudi Arabia.

But Pedro de la Rosa, his long-time confidante and now Aston Martin team ambassador, said: “The computers were not saying fifth, and that is because of the human factor.

“And thank goodness for that,” he told DAZN, clearly referring to the two-time champion.

The implication is that Alonso is outperforming the 2024 Aston Martin, amid both the driver and de la Rosa’s insistence that the team must make real and constant progress at every race throughout the long season.

“Let’s see how Australia turns out,” Alonso said. “I think we made a small step from Bahrain to Jeddah. We are fast on one lap but in the race we can’t beat the McLarens and the Mercedes. We were just lucky to be in front of them.

“We have to find solutions for the next race.”

De la Rosa concurs that the “pending issue” the Silverstone based team must solve is excessive tyre degradation over longer runs – on top of last year’s problem which was a stalled car development program.

“When you want and have to improve in F1, you can only achieve it with changes or improvements,” he said. “This is no secret.

“The team’s objective is not to race with the same car for two races in a row. There is no improvement plan for Australia, but they are in the oven.”

And de la Rosa said Aston Martin now needs to show that its upgrade program is up to scratch with the top teams.

“You improve, but others improve,” he said. “And compared to the others, sometimes your improvements are smaller, which seems like things are getting worse.”

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