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Fernando Alonso

Alonso's major Aston Martin concern after testing

Fernando Alonso was the star of pre-season testing with eye-catching performances for Aston Martin in Bahrain.

Aston Martin Alonso Testing
To news overview © XPBimages

Fernando Alonso believes Lance Stroll's absence from Formula 1 pre-season testing has "hurt a lot" for Aston Martin.

Stroll was ruled out of testing and is a doubt for the first race after sustaining wrist injuries in a cycling accident, and was replaced in Bahrain by reserve driver Felipe Drugovich.

The team have not ruled out a shock return for Sebastian Vettel to fill in until Stroll is fit to resume driving duties, but Alonso feels that the absence of his new teammate – who has been with the Silverstone squad since 2019 – has hurt Aston's understanding of the AMR23.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Alonso on impact of Stroll's absence

"It hurt a lot," two-time World Champion Alonso replied when asked of the impact of Stroll’s absence by F1 TV.

"I think we miss him because some of my comments, my feelings with the car, we never know if it’s just me in a new team and a new car.

"It's just maybe an Aston Martin thing [that I am not used to] and Lance could spot it, brake pedal feeling, power steering, all these things.

"I don't know if this is a legacy from the team or if it is just new [for] this car.

"We cannot do it without him, [so] I hope he can come [back] very soon."

Alonso nearly nabbed top spot on the opening day of testing, falling 0.029 seconds short of overhauling pace-setter Max Verstappen, with the team arguably the fourth fastest behind the established top three and perhaps on par with Mercedes.

"We feel there is a lot more to come from the car, that we didn't have time yet [to find] in testing," Alonso said.

"The car felt good on all three days, we've been experimenting a little bit with very different routes on [car] set-ups, and we always found positives on these new routes.

"So there is a clear indication that we need to change philosophy in many things on this car compared to last year's car.

"That, obviously, is a concern in a way because we will need a couple of races to optimise the package."

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