Formula 1 Racing

Alonso’s DRS worked in race but he doubts Aston Martin have “bullet-proof” fix · RaceFans

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Baku City Circuit, 2023

Fernando Alonso admits he isn’t sure Aston Martin have solved the problems with their Drag Reduction System ahead of tomorrow’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

He and team mate Lance Stroll were plagued by intermittent DRS faults during practice and qualifying. Alonso said they “cannot be 100% sure” they’ve fixed it.

“We’ve been through problems every session,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “So I don’t think that the system is still bullet-proof into tomorrow’s race.

“But it is the way it is. Even with the DRS it seems very difficult to overtake when you are following cars. So maybe it’s not the key factor tomorrow, even if it doesn’t work.”

Alonso said his rear wing opened on the few occasions he had the opportunities to use it in this afternoon’s sprint race.

“It did work, I think, in the race. I pressed two times and it did open, so I hope everything is fixed. One third time I wasn’t looking at the mirror, so I’m not sure, but I’m sure the team is analysing all the data available and if we have some tweaks to do, we have another chance before tomorrow’s race.”

Today’s sprint race was the first time Alonso has finished outside the top three this year. But despite that and sub-par performances in qualifying, he said he has become more optimistic about their performance as the weekend has gone on.

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“The weekend in general has been a little bit worse than the previous three races. We are underperforming a little bit. This morning being the best example, P8 and P9 is not good enough, so we were a little bit concerned into the race.

“But in the race, I have to say that I’m more optimistic now after the sprint race that the car will be fast tomorrow. I was fast in the sprint race. I was at the pace of the Ferrari and the Mercedes.

“Tomorrow I will start P6 instead of P8, so we still have a chance to finish top five. That will be ideal if we can finish sixth on Saturday, top five on Sunday on a difficult weekend, that will be very good news.”

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