Fernando Alonso makes ‘happy days’ admission as he fires Aston Martin warning

Two more rounds are scheduled before the championship heads to Europe for the first time this year.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso is expecting the pecking order to start changing on a “race-by-race” basis when the championship moves into the European rounds, where upgrades will start to be installed more often.

With the first three races of the season having all been flyaways, teams haven’t been able to introduce significant upgrades, only minor updates.

However, that is all set to change when the championship gets to Imola, where Mercedes and Ferrari are both set to introduce potentially game-changing developments.

Aston Martin also have significant upgrades to introduce when the series moves to Europe, with Alonso expecting the order to constantly change given how many teams will suddenly be installing updates.

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“It seems that qualifying is quite important now, because race pace is very similar, and I think now we enter into a part of the season that is going to be very interesting: which team is developing the car faster?” Alonso said to Motorsport.com.

“I think the first three races being away from Europe, it’s difficult to bring upgrades and things like that. But from now on, maybe we see the level of the teams changing a little bit, race-by-race, depending on who brings an upgrade that is good enough.”

Alonso, of course, has started the 2023 F1 season with three consecutive podiums, something he “never expected”.

Aston Martin have been a frontrunning team in the opening three rounds; however, they will need to demonstrate a strong development path to remain amongst Mercedes and Ferrari.

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“It’s all happy days at the moment,” added Alonso.

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“We never expected to be on the podium, maybe even throughout the season, and in three races we have three. So, everything that comes now is a plus.

“We take every opportunity and we need to learn and we need to grow as a team also maybe now off-track because we are racing against Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari – teams that are used to this kind of pace of development and things like that.

“Maybe we are just in a learning process. So, we take this 2023 in a very humble manner and let’s see how it’s going.”