Fernando Alonso refusing to get carried away ahead of Saudi Arabian GP

Fernando Alonso's podium in Bahrain was Aston Martin's first since the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Aston Martin are certainly entering this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on a high like no other, with the side having firmly cemented themselves as a real threat this season.

Heading into the season-opener in Bahrain a couple of weeks ago, many had tipped Aston Martin to cause an upset, after the Silverstone-based team demonstrated blistering pace in pre-season testing.

Their pace was confirmed in free practice in Bahrain, after Fernando Alonso topped two out of the three sessions ahead of qualifying.

Whilst qualifying was arguably not as strong as they may have been hoping, Alonso comfortably fought through the field to claim a well-deserved podium.

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Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez was quick to joke that there were three Red Bulls on the podium, but nobody could take away the fact that Aston Martin are at worst the top midfield team this season.

Interestingly, there is some truth in Pérez’s comments, with Aston Martin’s sidepod design being incredibly similar to the Austrians.

What Aston Martin have successfully done over the winter break is use the best parts from each leading side as inspiration, with several components on the AMR23 being similar to parts used by Red Bull and Ferrari last season.

As well as this, they’ve used the genius that is technical director Dan Fallows, who was Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics before moving to the British team.

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His influence on the AMR23 is unmissable, with him being partly responsible for why Aston Martin have risen to a position where they can challenge the typical leading trio.

Alonso is staying somewhat cautious though, ahead of the Saudi Arabia, due to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit being very different to the Bahrain International Circuit.

The double world champion is also expecting Ferrari to be stronger this weekend than they were in Bahrain, meaning a podium might not be on the cards for the Spaniard.

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“Very happy with Bahrain and looking forward to Jeddah. This circuit is very different. I like the circuit. There is a lot of adrenaline,” Alonso told reporters.

“It is an important test to see if the car is going to perform as well here. There will be much less degradation. On Friday It will be a test.

“Ferrari are going to be strong.”