Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso says that if he had been told before this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he was going to finish fourth in the championship he wouldn’t have believed it but here we are, the Spaniard finished the year best of the rest behind champion Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.
Alonso had a phenomenal year with the Silverstone-based outfit, his first with the team and scored some fantastic results helping them to finish in fifth place in the championship.
Speaking after finishing the race in seventh place, Alonso said:
“If you’d told me before this weekend that I’d finish fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, I wouldn’t have believed you – so this is a real gift. I’m really pleased with the way I’ve driven all season – I think this has been my best, most consistent season of driving since 2012. I think I got the maximum from the car all season.
“The whole Aston Martin team has worked incredibly hard and I am already looking forward to going into the winter and starting work for next season. We started this year as an underdog, but we’ll start 2024 very much in the spotlight; we need to be ready for that.
“Finally, a big thank-you and well-done to everybody on the team – this year has far exceeded all our wildest expectations and every single person should be proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Lance Stroll in comparison to Alonso had a pretty low-key season ending the year in tenth place in the standings on 74 points and speaking after a tenth-place finish in Abu Dhabi the Canadian said:
We elected to start the race on the Hard tyre and put in a long stint hoping for a Safety Car and a quick stop, but it didn’t play out like that, so we ended up running a two-stop strategy. Nevertheless, I think we were attacking well today and making progress throughout the field. We do tend to have better pace on a Sunday, and that was definitely the case today.
“I’m pleased that we finished 2023 with some stronger performances that we can be proud of. It’s definitely been a year of learning – we’ve had ups and downs – but we’re in a good place heading into next year.”
Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team Principal Mike Krack commented on the end of the season saying:
“I am pleased we could end this successful season with both cars inside the points. There were not too many opportunities in a race with no retirements and things pretty much played out in pace order. We did what we could, jumping [Yuki] Tsunoda with Fernando to finish seventh, and Lance made up three places to score the final point. As I reflect on the season, I see only the positives and the huge progress we made compared to last year. We have enjoyed some special days, especially in the early part of the season, and we came back strong in the recent races.
“Full credit to Red Bull Racing and Max [Verstappen] for the high standards and new records they have set. To win 21 races in a season is a remarkable achievement and can only act as motivation for us to close the gap ahead of 2024.
“It has been our best season to date as a team – scoring 280 v 55 last season. I would like to thank everyone trackside and at the AMRTC for all the hard work. Also to our fans and all our partners – without their support we could not have achieved this progress.”