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Fernando Alonso

Alonso welcomes F1 format change in Mexico

The last two race weekends in Formula 1 ran under the sprint format, however the sport will return to the traditional format this weekend in Mexico of three practice sessions - a return that Alonso has welcomed.

Alonso Austin
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Fernando Alonso has welcomed the change in format at the Mexico City Grand Prix this weekend.

The last two rounds of the championship were run under the sprint schedule with just one practice session taking place on Friday afternoon.

However, for the upcoming weekend in Mexico, F1 will return to its traditional format of three practice sessions preceding qualifying and the race.

Aston Martin introduced upgrades in the United States last weekend but was unable to optimise the package with little practice time available.

With three sessions to utilise in Mexico, Alonso has asserted that the team plans to take full advantage of the schedule.

“I think it is a completely different track with different needs,” the two-time World Champion told media including RacingNews365.

“So we will use the full practice this time after a few sprint events.

“We are more relaxed now and happier that we have FP1, FP2 and FP3 to optimise things.

“It's going to be the same for everybody but we really need these three practice sessions that are coming in the next days.”

Alonso hails Aston Martin's US efforts

Aston Martin suffered a double-Q1 exit at the Circuit of the Americas last time out, the first time it has done so this year.

It opted to take both of its cars out of parc ferme conditions to optimise its race pace, with Alonso returning to the old specification.

The Spaniard displayed strong speed in the Grand Prix but was forced to retire after sustaining damage to his floor, while his team-mate Lance Stroll went on to score his first points since after the summer break.

Asked about where Aston Martin found the gains in the US, Alonso said: “Optimising the setup.

“I think on the sprint weekends you have the risk of you know having only one session where you have to optimise everything in the car.

“We didn't and we had a very difficult session in FP1 with brake problems. We opted to change the setup, optimise a little bit everything in the package and start from the pit lane.

“And that was a nice result for us good information that we got from from Austin.

“The pace that we saw on Sunday, it was a combination of being optimised on our side and maybe our main opponents were not optimized having only FP1.

“It was the same for everybody and we took the opportunity to have a better Sunday.”

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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