Fernando Alonso admits that his hopes of securing his 33th career victory this year – his first in a full decade – are slipping away.
Aston Martin’s competitiveness has taken a slide at recent grands prix, with team boss Mike Krack admitting recent car upgrades had upset progress.
“We’re constantly pushing development,” Krack told DAZN, “but these cars are so complex that any changes affect other areas of the car – there are side effects.
“We made a change early in the season and we didn’t expect it to have some of the side effects that it did,” the German added. “It wasn’t until after several races on different types of tracks that we realised how it was influencing the car.”
Early in 2023, the hype about Alonso’s potential 33rd win was rampant – and the newly-42-year-old Spaniard admits that the likelihood has now plummeted.
“In Monaco we were very close and in Canada too, but I think there will be more opportunities despite the fact that, realistically, Red Bull is far ahead,” he said.
“The 33 has been taken up by the team and we are going to try it every weekend, even if it’s impossible. Everything I do in life is because I think I’m going to win.
“If I’m going to play tennis or soccer and I think my opponent is better than me or is going to beat me, I don’t go. It’s the same in motorsport, but I believe in this team.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take us to win, but I think we’re going to do it in the future,” Alonso added.
At the same time, he thinks a win in 2023 is now becoming unlikely.
“I don’t think that because I want it more than I’m going to get it. And I don’t think there’s a real chance of getting it this year either,” said Alonso.
“But there will always be a race where it could happen.”
Boss Mike Krack agrees.
“I’m not going to do a prediction on his 33rd win,” he said, “but we are incredibly determined to do everything we can to make it happen.”
Finally, Krack rejected any suggestion that Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll – son of team owner Lawrence Stroll – has become a brake on the team’s progress.
“Lance hasn’t had much luck this year,” he insisted.
“Apart from his broken bones, some things have gone against him that weren’t really his fault.
“So while the drivers’ championship tells one story, within the team we know what’s really going on.”