This encouraging outcome followed a significant disappointment on Saturday, when Alonso secured only the 15th spot in the qualifying round due to a red flag caused by his teammate Lance Stroll, which was followed by an early exit in the sprint.
In the primary race, he made significant headway, moving up from ninth to sixth in the opening lap and advancing another position when compatriot Carlos Sainz dropped due to accident damage.
“The car felt quick today,” Alonso explained in response to a question from F1 Flow.com about his impressive performance on Sunday.
“The team did an outstanding job with the strategy, and the pitstops. We also managed to gain some positions yesterday, despite not finishing the race. Today, the car felt more regular.
“After analysing the performance in Hungary and Silverstone, the team made several setup changes to the car. It seemed to have worked well today. The car felt more regular and more competitive. Overall, I’m satisfied, and it’s a positive morale booster for the summer.”
Alonso conceded that the challenging, rain-affected sprint weekend made it difficult to optimise everything.
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin F1 Team, at Parc Ferme
Photo by: Zak Mauger / F1 Flow Images
“I definitely felt more competitive than in the past few races,” he shared. “However, it was a challenging weekend to maintain rhythm due to the wet qualifying and constant track changes. There wasn’t much experience on dry.
“I believe, besides McLaren, we all used the dry setup, or semi-dry. Throughout the weekend, we never experienced the same conditions twice. It just kept drying up, eventually switching to slicks. The sprint format always unfolds this way.
“Indeed, I was fortunate at the start. I gained a few spots before Eau Rouge, although I was slightly apprehensive about losing pace and dropping positions.
“However, the car was quick today. We held back a Mercedes and a McLaren. So, we were competitive. This is encouraging news before the summer break.”
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On his 42nd birthday on Saturday, Alonso acknowledged the importance of experience in situations like sprint weekends.
“Approaching 43, I must say!,” he humorously remarked. “I think it’s evident that age doesn’t make a huge difference, whether you’re 41 or 25. It’s more about the mindset, motivation, and how you approach the weekend.
“And indeed, races like today, or starts like today, and even some instances in other teams, rely more on experience, like Daniel [Ricciardo] now in AlphaTauri, among others. So, it’s not about youth; it’s about speed.”
Reflecting on the first half of the 2023 season, he expressed, “Fantastic. The first half of the season was a dream. We’re third in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Ferrari, and also third in the drivers’ championship, tied with Lewis. This was unimaginable back in Bahrain.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fernando Alonso’s Performance
What position did Fernando Alonso finish in the F1 Belgian GP?
Fernando Alonso finished in fifth place at the F1 Belgian GP.
What was Alonso’s reaction to the car’s performance in the Belgian GP?
Alonso remarked that the car felt “more regular” and “quick”, expressing satisfaction with the team’s strategy and pitstops.
How did Alonso describe the conditions during the Belgian GP weekend?
Alonso described the weekend as challenging due to rain-affected sprints and constant track changes, which offered limited experience on dry conditions.
Where does Alonso rank in the 2023 championship after the first half of the season?
After the first half of the 2023 season, Alonso ranks third in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Ferrari, and also third in the drivers’ championship, tied with Lewis Hamilton.
How did Alonso feel about his age and experience affecting his performance?
Alonso, who turned 42, humorously remarked that age is not a significant factor, whether one is 41 or 25. Instead, he emphasized that it’s more about mindset, motivation, and one’s approach to the race weekend.