Fernando Alonso’s “it’s going to be painful here” prediction at F1 Spanish GP

Fernando Alonso reacts to qualifying behind both Alpines

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 World…

Fernando Alonso insists that Aston Martin are experiencing “tough times” after below-par qualifying at his home race.

Alonso qualified for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix in 11th (he will start from 10th due to Sergio Perez’s grid penalty).

Teammate Lance Stroll was 14th on a rough day for Aston Martin.

Notably, both Alpines qualified in front of both Aston Martins.

Alonso was asked if the sight of his former team ahead was a worry, and responded: “No I think we knew.

“Alpine was in front of us in Monaco, was very close in Canada, here they are just half a tenth in front so they are getting better and we are getting worse probably!

“So a combination of the two is not great. But you know I think many times we have some things in the pipeline that should put us back in the right direction.

“It’s going to be painful here, it’s going to be painful in Austria, in Silverstone.

“We have to keep scoring points if it’s eighth, if it’s seventh, ninth, whatever, we cannot give up and stay positive in these tough times.”

Aston Martin were the breakthrough team at the start of last season, with Alonso’s podium in Bahrain.

But Ferrari, McLaren and more recently Mercedes have established themselves as Red Bull’s closest challengers now.

Alonso was asked when Aston Martin’s pain will end: “Hopefully before summer break. But I think there is a lot of understanding in the team about what went right, what went wrong.

“Not only this year, I think the second part of last year and this year, I think as all the teams we are getting more and more extreme with development.

“The cars are more critical to drive, but now we understood a few ideas that will bring performance.”

Alonso detailed his Saturday in Barcelona: “We knew that it would be very tight in this type of circuit.

“Austria will be extreme, as if you’re running 1:04s it will be even tighter, so yeah I think I’m happy with the result, even if it is painful to say in front of the home grandstands.

“But before qualifying our predictions were a little bit more pessimistic, even with one car we opted to go with three sets in Q1 which is a sign that you are not very confident.

“All in all to start P10 with Checo’s penalty is a good result and hopefully tomorrow we are just one position away from the points let’s see.”

Will Alonso bring a different set-up for Sunday’s race?

“We’ve been testing a few different set-ups, these long corners and these cars they all behave differently.

“I think our car was behaving very differently in Bahrain and after the first packages we introduced we changed a little bit the characteristics of the car so we can mitigate a little bit with the set-ups.

“We are understanding more and more, but when you understand the package, the next one is coming and it resets everything.

“As I said now I think we have a plan, let’s see if it contributes to a better result, but we are more confident than we have been in the previous months.

“I think it’s more understanding about the car, we cannot forget last year was the first car that this new technical team was designing.

“We’ve been trying to add performance to the car, sometimes we didn’t add much and made the car a bit more tricky and difficult to drive.

“They’ve been working for one year and a half together, and everything is growing still at the top level, and it’s a strong position into the future.

“So I’m very relaxed, but the present is what matters in racing and today the present is Barcelona and it’s obviously painful but I’m relaxed about the performance.”

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