Manager hits out at Fernando Alonso’s critics, accuses FIA of trying to steal his podium

Fernando Alonso has already claimed more podiums for Aston Martin in two races than Sebastian Vettel secured in his two years at the British side.

Life at Aston Martin has certainly started sublimely for double world champion Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard having started his time at the Silverstone-based team with back-to-back podiums.

The last time Alonso claimed consecutive podiums was all the way back in 2013, whilst driving for Ferrari.

He’s certainly had to wait for his moment to shine once again, with his switch from Alpine to Aston Martin having so far allowed him to do so.

Despite his age, the 41-year-old has comfortably been one of the three fastest drivers this season, with Aston Martin seemingly set to go from strength to strength this year.

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His podium at Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was staggeringly his 100th at the pinnacle of motorsport, although, for a moment it looked like he’d had it taken away from him.

Alonso was awarded a 10-second time penalty for all of four hours, after the FIA wrongly awarded a penalty to the Spanish driver.

Alonso’s co-manager Flavio Briatore believes his driver has proved all the doubters wrong already this season, with many having labelled the driver’s age as an issue.

“They even tried to take away his podium with a penalty that shouldn’t even be discussed,” Briatore told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

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“At 41 he is faster than 20-year-olds but I never had any doubt. They said he was too old, that he wasn’t a team man. All nonsense.

“Just give him the car and he brings exceptional results.”

Moving to Aston Martin is a gamble that has certainly paid off, given that the side finished seventh last season, whilst Alpine finished fourth.

Briatore admits that himself and the Spaniard “took a risk” with the move but that ultimately Aston Martin possessed a “desire to change” that Alpine didn’t have.

“We shared the decision,” Briatore said. “We took a risk. But it was worth it.

“They offered us a two-year contract while others, with the excuse of age, only offered him one year. And then we knew that Lawrence Stroll was putting together a great team.

“We saw that the desire for change was there that was absent, for example, at Alpine.”

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Alonso, of course, replaced four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, with the German having opted to retire at the end of last season.

Whilst Aston Martin’s car is considerably better than it was during Vettel’s stint with the team, Briatore believes Alonso has added more flair to the British outfit than they ever had during Vettel’s stay, with the 2005 and 2006 champion having “brought enthusiasm and ambition”.

“Fernando brought enthusiasm and ambition that they have never seen before,” he said. “It’s nothing like Vettel’s period there.”