Despite Settling for Less, Fernando Alonso Confidently Fires Warning Shots at Lewis Hamilton & Co. Burying Spain Sadness

Published 06/05/2023, 11:55 AM EDT

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The 2023 season is witnessing different versions of Fernando Alonso, both old and new—the win-hungry Alonso, the fighter, the big brother, the team player, and the settler. And at least one of these is bound to provide entertainment every race weekend. The Spanish GP was no different. Fernando Alonso unleashed his villain side this time to take a jab at Lewis Hamilton.  

Post the race, Alonso graciously accepted defeat when asked about Mercedes’ performance in Barcelona compared to theirs. But when talking about the upcoming Canadian GP, he didn’t hold back while making clear who his and Aston Martin’s target will be for that race weekend.

Fernando Alonso fires shot at Lewis Hamilton


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The Spanish GP saw Mercedes bring new updates to their car. Developing cars throughout the season is crucial to staying competitive during an F1 season. And with Mercedes within touching distance, Aston Martin will aim to retake second place in the Championship.

While talking about his performance during the Spanish GP weekend, Alonso believed that had he not had that trip into the gravel during Qualifying, “we would have started alongside Hamilton and could have had some better chances.” But he isn’t too disheartened, considering they are still ahead of Ferrari—also their competitor. “Looking at the Constructors, it’s true that Mercedes gained some important points, but we again gained points on Ferrari.” 


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Although Mercedes’ upgrades look like a big step in the right direction, Alonso seems confident that Aston Martin’s upgrades will be just as good, if not better. Apart from Canada, the Silverstone-based outfit will bring further updates at the British GP as well. “In Canada, we’ll bring more things, and in Silverstone too.” He also seemed positive that Aston Martin’s drop in performance was just a one-time thing, and when it’s finally time to race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, they will “crush them [Mercedes].”

Fernando Alonso returns the favor

Coming into the Spanish GP, the two-time world champion had five podiums in six races, his lowest finish being P4. So when he finished P7 in his home Grand Prix, it was underwhelming.  With 10 laps to go, Alonso in P7—with newer tires—was catching up to his teammate, Lance Stroll, in P6. Given the team player we are witnessing this season, he told his team that he won’t fight Stroll for sixth.


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When asked post-race why he made that call, he said, “For us, it was the same—seventh and sixth, sixth and seventh. Same points. So bringing the car home felt like the right choice.”

After the Monaco GP, Aston Martin was second in the Constructors’ standings. But they dropped down to P3 post-Spanish GP, owing to Mercedes’ double podium. While holding position in P7 might’ve been him settling for less, it ensured that neither of the two Aston Martin DNF-ed, thereby staying alive in the fight for P2. 


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Watch This Story: How Aston Martin F1 Turned Around From a Struggling Mid-Field Team to Being the 2nd Fastest in 2023

Instead of looking at the Spanish GP as a missed opportunity, Alonso looked at it as something to learn from. Yes, they did lose out to Mercedes, but that’ll only make them fight harder. And with their new upgrades in Canada, who knows? Fernando Alonso might just return to the podium.


Written by:

Aditi Krishnan


One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Varunkumaar Chelladurai