Fernando Alonso is calling for calm and perspective amid an apparent performance dip at Aston Martin.
In the very recent past, speculation was rife that the two-time world champion would soon end his incredible ten-year drought at the wheel of his surprisingly impressive 2023 car.
But in Austria, he was not only behind his teammate Lance Stroll, the green-clad pair were even outperformed by Mercedes, Ferrari – even the resurgent McLaren.
Team boss Mike Krack just thinks it could be a quirk of Aston Martin’s upgrade program.
“We have the philosophy of constantly bringing improvements to the car,” he told AS newspaper. “But when I say ‘all’, I mean the sprint weekends. In those ones, we prefer to be conservative.
“Because if you lose your direction a bit, after FP1 you’re in parc ferme and you lose a race and a half because you may have made a mistake. But we took things to Canada that helped us, now we’re going to Silverstone and Hungary which are very different tracks.
“Still, it’s very difficult to anticipate where we will be,” added Krack. “We know what the strengths of the car are, but it is difficult to predict the position.”
Alonso, however, isn’t even willing to concede that Aston Martin has been overtaken by some of its rivals – having earlier looked the main challenger to Red Bull.
“I don’t know,” the 41-year-old said. “Maybe the circuit just didn’t suit our car. Aston had a lot of problems in Austria last year, so maybe there may be similarities with this year.
“Haas was also very fast,” Alonso added. “I think they were sixth and seventh last year and they were also fast this year.”
Additionally, he said McLaren took a very effective upgrade to Austria – with many of the parts resembling the recent development approach taken by Ferrari, Mercedes and even Aston Martin.
“I think it was a bit the circuit, a bit the updates that everyone else brought here,” said Alonso. “But we shouldn’t worry too much. We have another chance at Silverstone.
“We should do well,” he added. “Silverstone is an incredible track to drive with lots of fast corners.”
Alonso also said that with so many grands prix now on each calendar, it’s too reactive to be reading too much into form fluctuations from one week to the next.
“It’s a bit like football now, where every Sunday there are those who seem to be going well while the others seem to be in difficulty. But then everything can reverse in just one weekend,” he said.
“You need to have a calmer perspective, thinking more long term.”