Alonso’s Warning to Red Bull and Ferrari

Fernando Alonso is optimistic about his chances at the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix, confident that a notable advantage of his Aston Martin AMR24 will work to his advantage.

Following a commendable sixth-place finish in Japan, the seasoned two-time F1 World Champion is particularly enthusiastic about the DRS capabilities of his Aston Martin, especially along the extensive back straight of the Shanghai International Circuit.

This weekend marks the return of Formula 1 to Shanghai after a hiatus of five years, making it the first race to rejoin the calendar from before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shanghai track is renowned for its lengthy straight, measuring an impressive 1.2 kilometers, thus favoring cars with superior straight-line speed.

Alonso’s recent success at the fast-paced Suzuka circuit, where he secured a sixth-place finish, underscores the significance of the “very powerful DRS.”

He acknowledges that this feature could be pivotal during a weekend anticipated to be rife with variables such as unpredictable weather conditions and the reintroduction of the sprint format, all of which are poised to disrupt the established pecking order.

“I think, always, it gives us a little bit more of an opportunity when you have a little bit of deficit on the pace,” he stated. “Mixed conditions or a sprint weekend, all these kinds of things always give you something extra. But it’s gonna be tough.

“I think China, with these long corners, a front-limited circuit – maybe like Australia – I expect Ferrari to be very fast. But also Red Bull and… let’s see. We have a very powerful DRS, and maybe that helps on the long China straight, so let’s see.”

When questioned about the basis of his evaluation of the pecking order, Alonso responded with a smile, stating, “I drive the car on track, and I see it!”

The seasoned two-time F1 World Champion, who recently committed to extending his tenure with Aston Martin as a driver for at least another two seasons, officially confirming his new contract between the Japanese and Chinese Grands Prix, expressed his belief that the pace of the AMR24 still requires improvement.

Despite the team introducing a modest upgrade package in Japan, incorporating adjustments to the floor, bodywork, and the rear beam spoiler, Alonso indicated that there is ample room for further enhancements throughout the season.

“I think there are a couple of things in the pipeline to improve the car,” he stated. “I think this first package is just the baseline of what we will introduce later in the season. So we still need to analyze many things.

“But, as I said, we are executing very well on Sundays maximizing the points, even more than what we deserve normally.

“The pit stops were great – actually, on the second stop, when I saw the green light and I went, ‘Maybe they didn’t change all four tires’, because it, for me, felt like the fastest ever.

“So there are small things here and there that are making it possible to get the results. But I think, fundamentally, the pace is not where we want to be. And this is something we need to focus on now.”