Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin deserved to win a race “more than anyone else” in Formula 1 this year after a couple of near-misses during 2023.
Alonso’s first season at Aston Martin exceeded expectations as he scored eight podium across the year to grab fourth place in the drivers’ championship.
Many had questioned his decision to leave Alpine for Aston, but his move was vindicated as he took six top-three finishes in the opening eight races.
Despite Aston’s form tailing off during the middle of the year, Alonso still hailed it as his best F1 season since 2012 when he almost won the title for Ferrari in an uncompetitive car.
Alonso failed to add to his 32 career victories, meaning the two-time world champion’s winless streak in F1 has stretched beyond a decade.
He singled out Monaco as Aston’s clearest opportunity to win a race in 2023, where a mistake on strategy cost him the chance leapfrog race leader Max Verstappen.
“I think it was possible. Probably Monaco was the closest,” Alonso said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “Just maybe a tyre call change or something [would’ve made the difference]. Maybe Zandvoort, if we were in a different position in that restart or something.
“We had opportunities here and there. And I believe that we deserved it more than anyone else this year.”
While a run of difficult races ultimately cost Aston Martin a P4 finish in the standings to McLaren, Alonso still hailed the Silverstone outfit’s performance this year.
Even if Alonso reckons the team’s dip in form mid-season showed it isn’t quite on the same level as the top teams, he insists Aston’s huge leap from 2022 was “unthinkable” over the previous winter.
“I see only positives and those struggles I think are part of the job and part of the journey of this team,” he said. “We started really strong with the car that was surprisingly competitive, maybe even to us the step from last year to this year [was a surprise].
“And then we found ourselves maybe in a position that we were not ready for it. Fighting with Mercedes, Ferrari, top teams that they are used to fighting at that level. We maybe stepped back a little bit in terms of development on the car during the season.
“We are not at the top level yet and we found ourselves a little bit less competitive. But all in all it was unthinkable 12 months ago at this stage to think about the campaign we did.
“I remember perfectly the test last year after [Abu Dhabi] with the team and if someone had told me that we would be in this position, I would not have believed it.”