"It seems that they have a car that is out of Q3": Fernando Alonso calls out 'fast' Mercedes' sandbagging
Fernando Alonso recently lashed out at Mercedes, claiming that the team is significantly downplaying their performances in 2023. The Spaniard believes that the Brackley-based squad is exaggerating their woes this year.
The Silver Arrows finished P2 and P3 at the end of qualifying ahead of the 2023 Australian GP. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton put in amazing laps in Q3, despite allegedly having struggled through all three practice sessions.
In doing so, they managed to beat Alonso's Aston Martin, which has more-or-less been the second fastest car this year right behind Red Bull. When asked if he was surprised by Mercedes' result in qualifying, Alonso claimed that he wasn't surprised at all and that the team actually has a fast car. The two-time world champion implied that the team downplays their performance and progress. In a conversation with Sky, he stated:
“Not really. I think they were already fast in Jeddah already. And they were fast in FP2. They are always fast. If you read the comments, it seems that they have a car that is out of Q3. But it is not that car.”
Fernando Alonso will be starting just behind his long-time Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's main race.
Fernando Alonso tipped to break winless streak in 2023
F1 pundit and commentator Martin Brundle predicts that Fernando Alonso will soon end his winless streak. The former two-time world champion hasn't won a race with Ferrari since 2013.
In Bahrain's season opener, Alonso surprised the world by achieving a podium finish, which he rightly deserved. With Aston Martin, it appears that the Spanish driver has found the perfect platform to showcase his exceptional driving skills and flourish, having scored another podium in Jeddah.
Considering their form so far, Martin Brundle is convinced that it's just a matter of time before the 41-year-old driver wins his next race. Speaking about Fernando Alonso's current form to Sky Sports F1, Brundle remarked:
"Without a doubt, something will happen this year. It is a good car, he is in flying form. They have got a lot of development capacity in that team through the year at Aston Martin. They could well keep moving that car along, more than others who have less wind tunnel time, less digital wind tunnel time and the budget cap closes teams down as well - you can't just spend your way out of trouble in F1 anymore."
Alonso will be starting behind his long-time rival Lewis Hamilton at the 2023 Australian GP. It will be interesting to watch the two world champions battle it out at the Albert Park Circuit.