Fernando Alonso has warned that "hard work is needed" for Aston Martin to maintain their strong start to the 2023 F1 season.
The squad impressed with their performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Alonso clinching the final podium position behind the Red Bulls while Lance Stroll took P6 just two weeks after sustaining injuries to his wrists and toe in a cycling accident.
However, Alonso admits that the team quickly shifted their focus to the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, an event that he expects will pose a very different challenge.
Alonso expects 'steeper' learning curve in Jeddah
"The car felt very good in Bahrain, and we enjoyed our weekend scoring our first podium of the season," Alonso commented.
"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."
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Very different race weekends ahead, says Alonso
The F1 circus will arrive in Australia following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and Alonso believes that this will be the point where Aston Martin's true level of performance becomes clear.
"Realistically I do not think it will be until after Australia that we will know better where the overall performance stands, as by then we will have had three very different race weekends on varied circuits in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia," the two-time World Champion explained.
"Our feet remain on the ground and hard work is needed to maintain this start and try to get another strong result this weekend."
Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken as they discuss all the key talking points ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.