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Aston Martin

Aston Martin's 'mix-and-match' key to Alonso podium return

After a slump in performance over recent Grands Prix, Aston Martin bounced back to the podium in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, just, through Fernando Alonso. But it was not with all of the recent upgrade package brought in the United States.

Alonso Brazil
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Wily and canny as ever, Fernando Alonso managed to hold off a much-faster Sergio Perez for the final place on the Sao Paulo Grand Prix podium to lift some of the doom and gloom around Aston Martin.

The race before in Mexico City had been a terrible event for the team as its United States upgrade package did not lead to the expected improvements and led to an experimental weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

While the Sprint did not yield any result, Aston did have prime starting slots for the Grand Prix, with third and fourth on the grid as Lance Stroll started ahead of Alonso on the second-row, with the latter capitalising to run third after the final pit-stops, but having a pumped up Perez carving chunks of time out of him in the much-faster Red Bull.

Alonso then drove different lines around the Interlagos track to ensure Perez could not figure out where the AMR23 was strong and weak, while maintaining both his energy and tyres - knowing full well that driving it flat out at first to try and stay ahead of Perez would harm him later on just when he needed the tyre life most.

Perez would attack in the final couple of laps, before Alonso in something of a hybrid car, set Perez up beautifully for a move into Turn 4 on the final lap.

Come Turn 12 and Alonso went to the slightly wider line and dumped everything he had to stay ahead of Perez, who charged to within 0.053s, but it was the podium secured for the Silverstone team.

It capped a return to the podium for the first time since the Dutch Grand Prix for the team, who can use this as a building block, safe in the knowledge it has seemingly managed to get some sort of grasp on the troubles that have torpedoed its season.

Krack explains Aston Martin 'mix and match'

"We openly said that we needed to try some things for next year, which is what we did in the past couple of races," Team Principal Mike Krack told media including RacingNews365.

"When we came here, we said: 'What is the best package from what we have run this year?' and we made the choice from what we thought was the right one.

"It's like a mix, because you have a range of parts that you combine and I've said many times, that the cars are very complicated and you really need to understand how different areas of the car work, and how they interact with each other.

"It is not about the outside world, it is about ourselves.

"We wanted to learn as much as possible for next year, but obviously you then sacrifice results, that often comes with it.

"We do not want to have these results, obviously, and we had a couple of events where it was really difficult and we said: 'Okay, what is the best we have and how can we achieve it?'

"We've done our homework and managed to come back."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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