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Fernando Alonso

Alonso optimistic after 'intense' qualifying

The Aston Martin driver was out-qualified by teammate Lance Stroll at the Red Bull Ring.

Alonso Austria
To news overview © XPBimages

Fernando Alonso remains optimistic over Aston Martin's chances at the Austrian Grand Prix after finishing seventh fastest in an "intense" qualifying session.

F1's second Sprint event of the year saw qualifying move to Friday after a single practice session, with Alonso out-qualified by teammate Lance Stroll.

The Aston Martins lost out to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, McLaren's Lando Norris, Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and polesitter Max Verstappen, with each of their rivals benefitting from a raft of upgrades in recent races.

Despite the team taking a step down the order compared to his stunning start to the season, which saw him take in six podiums across the opening eight races, Alonso insisted: "I feel good.

"It was intense, as it is always here in Austria. The times are very close, there are 10 cars within two- or three-tenths.

"It is always good to be on top of that group in case of any risk in Q1 and Q2.

"We got a lap deleted in Q2 which forced us to put an extra set [of tyres] and then we only had one chance in Q3, so all in all not ideal, but happy.

"P6 and P7 for the team is a strong result for us and a good starting position."

Weather watch

Drivers return for qualifying laps in the shortened Shootout session to set the grid for Saturday's 100km Sprint, with the weather set to spice up the action.

On Aston Martin's prospects for the rest of the weekend, Alonso added: "I think it will be interesting, especially with the weather - there is some chance of rain for Shootout and the [Sprint] race and then dry again for Sunday.

"That would be perfect because we could face all conditions in the same weekend. So I am optimistic, the car feels good."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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