Fernando Alonso expects a ‘steeper learning curve’ for Aston Martin in Jeddah compared to Bahrain. The Spaniard cites the extended testing period in Sakhir as the main cause of this learning curve.
F1 conducted its pre-season test for the year in Bahrain, giving teams a good chance to understand the track and their new cars ahead of the season opener. However, in the case of the upcoming Saudi Arabian GP (and all subsequent races), teams will get only a day and a half of practice to understand their machines in relation to the track.
Alonso expects his team to have a harder time understanding the Jeddah Corniche Circuit compared to the one in Sakhir. As per his testimony on the official Aston Martin website, Fernando Alonso said:
“The car felt very good in Bahrain and we enjoyed our weekend scoring our first podium of the season. But we have now shifted all our focus to this weekend and Jeddah. It will be a very different challenge there as it is a completely different circuit to what we experienced in the opening race.”
“We spent two weeks in Bahrain, and all became very familiar with the circuit and conditions so the learning curve from this Friday will be a lot steeper.”
Former McLaren coordinator on Fernando Alonso’s third title chances
According to Jo Ramirez, the former team coordinator for McLaren, if Fernando Alonso remains with Aston Martin for the next two or three years, he could potentially secure his third F1 championship title. Ramirez drew a comparison between Alonso and Alain Prost, who retired from racing at 41 years of age.
Despite being considerably older than other drivers on the grid, Fernando Alonso is still able to perform at the highest level. At the 2023 Bahrain GP, the two-time world champion secured a podium finish, which served as further evidence of Aston Martin’s impressive pace this season.
Jo Ramirez, who has worked with notable drivers such as Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen, is optimistic about the Silverstone-based team’s trajectory. He also thinks that if Alonso remains with the team for a few more years, he could potentially secure his third championship title in the sport.
Speaking about Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin, Jo Ramirez told AS.com:
“Hopefully. If Aston Martin continues in this line and he endures two or three more years he can achieve it. The team is on a proper path. Red Bull, and especially Helmut Marko, criticize them for having copied them but that’s how F1 has worked for a long time.”
“In addition, Alonso is at a magnificent age. When Alain Prost retired he was 41 years old and at his best.”