Fernando Alonso has applauded Aston Martin for delivering him a “well executed” second-placed finish at 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.
Alonso began the race in fifth position on the grid but quickly cleared Alex Albon and George Russell with a ruthless inside move at Turn 3, before briefly passing Lando Norris a lap later prior to pitting for intermediate tyres at the end of Lap 2 due to heavy rain.
Once the majority of the grid had pitted, Alonso found himself running fourth but quickly cleared Guanyu Zhou for fifth after the pair pitted together on Lap 12 for soft slick tyres, which became third once everyone else had made their stops to revert to the slick tyres.
Alonso however was unable to pass Sergio Perez for second on track but gained the position on Lap 63, after the Mexican spun at Turn 1 during a torrential downpour.
That mistake from Perez afforded Alonso the opportunity to unsucessfully attack Max Verstappen for the win on the restart, following a red flag on Lap 64 due to track conditions and to allow barrier repairs after Zhou crashed out at Turn 1.
Alonso however admitted post-race that he relished the temptation to deny Verstappen a third consecutive home win, as he explained: “I cannot lie, I thought about passing Max [Verstappen] and if I was side by side with him I wouldn’t have lifted off, but I did not have the full chance.
“You need some intuition sometimes in the race and there was a bit of rain so I attacked very aggressively.”
The Spaniard ultimately settled for second which marked his first podium since he finished second in Canada in mid June.
Reflective of his first podium finish which ended a four-race rut, Alonso commented: “It’s a nice feeling to be back on the podium after a very intense race and some intense emotions.
“I think P2 and fastest lap was the maximum we could have achieved today with the heavy rain and the red flag.”
Alonso added that his team had delivered “a very well executed race” which meant a lot in front of “passionate” Dutch fans, where he felt “in sync with it,” in terms of performance which left him with “a good feeling.”
The two-time champion concluded that he is more “happier” with this podium than any of his previous top-three finishes this season, after having “struggled” in July so to return from the summer break with a second-placed finish felt “strong” and “incredible.”
Team Principal, Mike Krack in-turn praised Alonso for a “fantastic second place” in which he felt that the Spaniard “delivered a well-judged race, survived the tricky conditions, and showed strong pace in the wet and the dry.
Alonso’s podium also meant that Aston Martin sit third in the constructors’ championship with 215 points heading into the final nine races of the season.
Krack consequently iterated that Alonso’s podium demonstrates the team’s progress as he explained: “This result will mean a huge amount to the entire team at track and back at the Campus, and shows our hard work is paying off.
“It means we have broken the 200-point barrier for the first time and gives us real momentum going into the final races of the year.”