Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin): Honda as key / Formula 1

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin): Honda as key / Formula 1

Only five drivers finished in the top ten in four F1 races in 2024: Sergio Pérez, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri – and Fernando Alonso. What the Spaniard expects in China.

In the upcoming weekend of high-speed races at the Shanghai International Circuit, Fernando Alonso can use all his experience. Sequence: hectic. Free practice session on Friday, April 19, then sprint qualifying begins. And Saturday the top speed will be maintained: race in China in the morning, qualifying for Sunday afternoon.

Considering this and the fact that the premier class has not participated in the Shanghai International Circuit for five years – now the experience is worth its weight in gold. And F1 record holder Alonso has many of those with 382 Grands Prix.

The 42-year-old Spaniard competed in China with 15 major victories from 2004 to 2018, in 2005 he won in a Renault car, in 2013 he won in a Ferrari, and he climbed the podium five times.

And he will get this chance at least three more times – the Asturian is signed with Aston Martin until the end of 2026 and will therefore become the oldest GP driver in 50 years or so since Graham Hill in 1975!

Fernando Alonso says: “It was not easy to think calmly about what I wanted to do. This is probably my last contract as a Formula 1 driver. But once I knew what I wanted to do and when I saw what the team was planning, it was finally easy, and the negotiations that continued after Japan were concluded after two days.

Were there serious discussions with other racing teams? Fernando replies: “There is no need to talk about it anymore. I am an Aston Martin driver, I will remain an Aston Martin driver. Of course there were talks with others, but they were only superficial.”

“What makes me most happy is that we will be the sole partner of Honda from 2026. Today we are one of several customers of Mercedes. The new regulations are an opportunity to make a big step and Honda is the key to this. Being the factory partner of the engine manufacturer, as the only team , will be an important advantage.

Very important: How Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll set up their cars. Fernando reveals: “Lance and I are completely different when it comes to setting up. I don’t really mind being too fast. What this means is that if there are minor problems with the car, I ignore them and get 90 percent out of the car. But to get the full potential out of the car, I need Lance’s input as well as the help of my technicians.

How does Alonso react to the short race format this weekend? “There is no difference from the sprints last year. The big difference from before – we can adjust the set-up after the sprints and in qualifying for the Grand Prix. That will make it easier to have a good car for the Grand Prix.”

“The racing system is one, but even in the normal process we often get a good game – there are many opportunities to overdrive and tire wear is high.”

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0