Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Alonso and Aston Martin keep the pulse for 33

The Formula 1 has landed in Singapore to face the final stretch of the championship, which will take place far from European territory. The winding Marina Bay circuit, with 19 curves in just five kilometers, will host the fifteenth grand prix of the season, a night race with an always uncertain prognosis. Max Verstappen, Launched for his third consecutive crown (which could come early in Japan or Qatar), he will try to break his ‘spell’ on this track, where until now victory has always eluded him and a year ago he finished seventh after a crazy weekend .

His teammate Sergio Pérez, winner here in the last edition, will seek to vindicate himself. Red Bull and especially Helmut Marko have put the Mexican on the ropes, who wants to convince them that he is the best ‘second in command’ possible. Whether it’s Verstappen or Checo, the energy drink team needs a win this Sunday to move forward with an unprecedented challenge in F1: winning all the races of the course. At the moment, there are 14 (12 from Max and 2 from Pérez).

Unlike other circuits, where Red Bull started with an obvious advantage due to the technical superiority of the RB19, Singapore is a much more unpredictable scenario which usually brings very eventful races and safety cars that alter all strategies. In short, it is a great opportunity for the compact block that fights for second position among the constructors, Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin, to stop Red Bull’s streak.

The ambition of Alonso and Aston Martin

Singapore is one of the circuits marked in ‘red’ on the agenda of Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin. The Asturian, after a spectacular start in which he managed to chain six podiums and be the second best of the rest after the Red Bull, has entered a spiral of ups and downs, with an AMR23 that can squeeze the maximum or lead to minimizing damage in depending on the characteristics of each layout.

In Zandvoort, upon returning from the summer holidays, Alonso put on a spectacular display to return to the podium and finished second, just 3 seconds behind Verstappen. But in Monza, a week later, the long straights once again revealed Aston Martin’s deficit in top speed and Fernando dropped to ninth place, which keeps him third in the championship, behind the two Red Bull men, although with Lewis Hamilton on the prowl (six points away).

Alonso has high expectations in Singapore, where He has been on the podium five times and has achieved two victories (2008 and 2010). His car is strong in slow corners and even with the changes that the grand prix organizers have made for this edition, eliminating four low-speed corners from sector three, the Asian layout is still favorable.

Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough gives one of the keys that could be valid this Sunday and highlights the importance of “planning in advance” the simulation of a hypothetical safety car. “In Singapore, you never know when someone is going to hit the wall and you’re going to get a yellow flag, a red flag or a safety car, so there’s a higher level of anxiety preparing for that. We simulate what “It happens in the case of a Safety Car on every lap of the race. It’s always easy to opt to pit during a safety car and put on new tyres, but if you lose too many positions and can’t recover them, then it’s a disaster,” he explains. .

The British team’s objective for the last third of the season is very ambitious: “We want to recover second place in the constructors. Is brave, Ferrari had a strong weekend at Monza and Mercedes He’s also had a couple of good races.. But we hope to be more competitive on high-load tracks from now on. The margins are small and it will depend on who brings more developments to the track and executes the races better,” warns McCullough.

Aston Martin keeps the pulse this season, when many teams have already fully focused on the 2024 car: “We bring parts to the track constantly. And we will continue like this even if the European part of the calendar is over. We will have shipments until Friday morning or even later,” they acknowledge.


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