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Fernando Alonso

Alonso thriving on Spanish GP 'special energy'

The two-time F1 World Champion has returned to a hero's welcome at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Alonso Spain
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Fernando Alonso is thriving off the "special energy" provided by home support, which he has likened to his F1 championship-winning years at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Aston Martin driver enters the weekend at his most competitive in the sport since taking victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Ferrari in 2013.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was dominant in first practice, but Alonso provided hope of an inter-team battle for pole position by finishing within two-tenths in the second session.

The grandstands at the venue were frenzied in support for Alonso when he was at the height of his powers in 2005 and 2006, and his early-season form for Aston Martin has seen a return of the devoted fanbase, with a sea of green evident in the crowd.

"Sixty-seven per cent of the merchandise in the grandstand is green I heard, so this is going back to the 2005-06-07 years when everything was in one colour," said Alonso.

"I feel that support, that special energy. The fan forum was amazing. While I am driving I cannot hear them but I feel how enthusiastic they are so hopefully I will put on a show for them."

Upgrades working

Aston Martin added yet more upgrades for this weekend to make use of its Constructors' position last season before the current Aerodynamic Testing Period expires.

The Silverstone-based outfit was granted more testing time compared to its rivals by virtue of F1's sliding scale regulation but with this being reset at the end of June, Aston Martin's testing allocation will be greatly reduced as it sits second in the standings.

Asked if the upgrades were performant, Alonso replied: "They do, absolutely.

"There is not a new part we have put on the car that is not helping the performance, so that is something that has always been the case with the team since Bahrain.

"Happy with the upgrades, let's see when everyone goes to full power to see where we are.

"It is so tight that one-or-two-tenths will put you in a completely different spot in the classifications, so I'm not paying too much attention to the times.

"We went through the programme we had before practice, which is a good thing, learning about the tyres.

"The track is a bit slower than what we predicted, so there is still more time to find, more tweaks on the set-up but it was a productive Friday."

F1 2023 Spanish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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