Fernando Alonso’s reason for missing Bahrain dinner surfaces

Fernando Alonso is a ‘winning’ driver says Lewis Hamilton

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Aston Martin newcomer Fernando Alonso is doing his due diligence in the hopes he can inspire major improvements for the team this season. And even at 41 years of age, the oldest driver on the grid is leaving no stone unturned to squeeze the most out of the AMR23 this term.

It was reported Alonso missed a pre-season dinner in Bahrain on Saturday after wrapping three days of testing at Sakhir. Rather than unwind with a week to go before the 2023 season gets underway, it’s suggested the veteran remained behind to examine the test data in an effort to get the best understanding of his new car.

That’s the suggestion made by Spanish journalist Antonio Lobato, who told F1 en Movistar Plus+ his compatriot was hoping to extract every ‘thousandth’ he could from AMR23. Alonso racked up an impressive 270 laps across the three days of testing, but the work hasn’t stopped there for the former Ferrari and McLaren star.

“That goat is not going to dinner because it is looking for the thousandth,” proclaimed Lobato (translation via Formula1News.com) in a passionate update from Sakhir. “THE THOUSANDTH!”

Aston Martin have been tipped to make a greater impact in 2023 after some impressive runs in pre-season, with Alonso finishing among the top three fastest drivers on the first two days. However, Lance Stroll’s wrist injury has forced the team to rethink its plans, with reserve driver Felipe Drugovich poised to start next Sunday if the Canadian isn’t ready to return.

“It hurt a lot,” Alonso told F1 TV when asked how Stroll’s absence had affected the team in pre-season. “I think we miss him because some of my comments, my feelings with the car, we never know if it’s just me in a new team and a new car.

“It’s just maybe an Aston Martin thing [that I am not used to] and Lance could spot it, brake pedal feeling, power steering, all these things. I don’t know if this is a legacy from the team or if it is just new [for] this car. We cannot do it without him, [so] I hope he can come [back] very soon.”


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It’s that same dedication to his craft that has led Alonso to cement his place as a mainstay among motorsport’s elite and a potential underdog ahead of his 20th season in F1. He became the first driver in history to be named a two-time FIA Hall of Famer in 2019, when he was inducted for a second time following his exploits in the World Endurance Championship.

With pressure building in the final week of preparation before he officially starts afresh with his latest employers, something as frivolous as dinner can wait for the time being. Aston Martin may have waved goodbye to one model professional when Sebastian Vettel retired at the end of 2022, but it’s evident Alonso is providing some unique nous of his own at Silverstone.

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