Fernando Alonso fires thinly veiled shot at Alpine and McLaren

Fernando Alonso will start second on the grid alongside Sergio Perez, in a replica of the front row from Saudi Arabia.

For the second time this season, Fernando Alonso will be starting from the front row of the grid, following a stellar qualifying performance by the Spaniard at the Miami Grand Prix.

In a replica of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier in the season, Alonso will line-up on the grid from second alongside Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who’s only lap in Q3 was good enough for a surprise pole position.

Being on the front row certainly wasn’t in the script for Alonso; however, a late crash in Q3 for Charles Leclerc resulted in the final 1:30 of qualifying being cancelled, meaning several drivers – including Max Verstappen – were unable to set a real respectable time.

Posting an early banker in Q3 therefore worked in Alonso’s favour, with the 41-year-old now having a clear view of Turn 1 on Sunday at the Miami International Autodrome.

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Fernando Alonso pleased after ‘messy’ FP3

He was understandably “extremely happy” with his Saturday afternoon and is excited for Sunday’s race, with his car having come “alive in qualifying”.

“It was a good qualifying,” said Alonso in his post-qualifying interview.

“FP3 was a little bit messy for us, we tried a different set-up and it didn’t work but the team put the car in a more normal place after the first four races and the car came alive in qualifying.

“Extremely happy with P2, first row on the grid, let’s see what we can do.”

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Alonso went on to share that the AMR23 was “so enjoyable to drive” throughout qualifying, with the balance of his car having been “perfect”.

“Perfect, I enjoyed every lap. It was so enjoyable to drive,” Alonso exclaimed.

“The low-speed corners here are quite tricky. You go quite close to the walls between Turns 10, 11 and 16 so you need to have the confidence in the car to attack qualifying – I had that confidence so I am very pleased.”

Alonso as motivated as ever

His strong Saturday in Miami simply adds to what’s been an exceptional start to life at Aston Martin for the double World Champion, with the veteran currently going from strength to strength.

This has been noticed throughout the paddock, with Alonso having therefore been asked after qualifying where his recent motivation has come from.

READ: Sergio Perez fires warning about Lawrence Stroll in Miami

It’s safe to say, his recent motivation hasn’t come thanks to Alpine or McLaren – the two teams he last raced for – who he took a light shot at during his post-quali interview.

“I have always been motivated and working hard but I didn’t have the team believing in my performance or ability to set up the car moving forward, and I have never had a fast a car as I have now,” he admitted.

“I have never changed anything but Aston Martin changed everything for me.”