Alonso: ‘Mercedes fast, not as bad as they make out’ 

Fernando Alonso says Mercedes have been overplaying their 2023 F1 car struggles after a strong performance at the Australian Grand Prix. 
Alonso: ‘Mercedes fast, not as bad as they make out’ 

Mercedes had their competitive qualifying of the season in Melbourne as George Russell took second, 0.236s adrift of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton in third. 

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Alonso will join Hamilton on the second row of the grid after qualifying fourth for Aston Martin.

Asked if he was surprised by Mercedes’ much-improved pace, the two-time world champion told Sky: “Not really. 

“I think they were already fast in Jeddah already. And they were fast in FP2. They are always fast. 

“If you read the comments, it seems that they have a car that is out of Q3. But it is not that car.”

Alonso: ‘Mercedes fast, not as bad as they make out’ 

Alonso finished ahead of both Mercedes drivers in the opening two rounds as he claimed back-to-back podiums behind the dominant Red Bulls. 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who finished a tenth behind Alonso in fifth, echoed his fellow Spaniard’s comments, adding Mercedes are “a lot faster than people think”. 

“In the race they had a pace very close to Fernando in Jeddah,” he said. 

“Lewis and George, they were flat out and we couldn't keep up with them. So that car is quick.

"It isn't as quick as the Red Bull, no one is, but they put Qualifying together and they can be a very strong package, too."

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