Fernando Alonso has turned back the clock, and surprised everyone, setting the fastest time in FP2 of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a 1.33.196, in his debut session for Aston Martin in the 2023 FORMULA 1 season.
For his teammate Lance Stroll, it was the Canadian’s first time behind the wheel in 2023 after missing testing due to injury.
“It felt good to drive the car today and it is nice to see both cars high up on the timing sheets, especially after only three days of Testing. The team is working together well, and we are still learning a lot about the new car.”
“I think it will not be clear who is on top until after this weekend and probably into the first couple of races at different tracks. For now, we are just concentrating on ourselves and trying to find the right balance with the car.”
“After testing we were thinking to be in Q3 with both cars and score as many points as possible in these first couple of races and not make mistakes.
“It’s very easy to make mistakes, it’s not the same fighting for P12 or P14 as fighting for the top five positions because the pressure is different, the adrenaline is different, so there are a lot of things that we as a team we have to grow together in this process.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and the target has to be fighting for the championship in the long term, but I don’t think in this year yet.”
“It’s good to see in the times that you are competitive. After testing there is always a mixed feeling of where you are and still until we go into qualifying and the race — even the first three races are at very different circuits, Bahrain, Jeddah and Australia.
“At the moment we are just concentrating on ourselves. There are a lot of things to improve on the car, the balance was not completely perfect today and also the team has to change a few things.”
“It was so great to be back in the car today and get my first proper laps of 2023 in. It has only been 13 days since my accident and at that point I was not sure I would be back in an F1 car so soon, so be here with the team is amazing.”
“We lost a little bit of time in FP1 with an ignition issue, but once that was fixed we ran well and collected some important data to work through tonight.”
“There are a few things we need to evaluate overnight and we will prepare as best we can for the first qualifying session of the season tomorrow. We have our feet on the ground, and we are realistic with our expectations heading into tomorrow.”