I thought I was tired of watching the F1 same-old, same-old, until ‘this old guy’, 41 years old Fernando Alonso took over the lead driving role at Aston Martin and has really shaken things up with his outstanding performance in Bahrain, and now elevating himself to the front row in Jeddah for this weekend’s Saudi Grand Prix.
Alonso has driven for McLaren, Ferrari and Minardi – and won the World Championship twice, with Renault, in 2005 and 2006.
Favoured front runner Verstappen suffered a drive shaft problem in Q2, and now the front rows look much more interesting than in many of last year’s GPs.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez put in a fantastic drive to grab pole, then comes Alonso, George Russell’s Mercedes, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and in fifth position is Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin.
In addition to the driving performances by Alonso and Stroll, it’s obvious Aston Martin spent some quality time on their 2023 cars over the winter break. It’s a big contrast to Hamilton, who hasn’t been on the pace, and keeps complaining that the team is not listening to his constructive comments about how to improve the car. If I was Toto Wolff I think I’d be listening a little keener to the guy who’s at the sharp end every weekend, and reckons he knows what he needs to get the job done.
Maybe you think Lewis is a 'chronic moaner', but seriously, who would ignore input from a seven times world champion?
Alonso, the 'old lion' takes third at the Saudi GP, after a race where he displayed ALL of his bravery, experience and tactical thinking, resulting in his second podium in the first two races.
Oscar Piastri enjoyed a brilliant drive to finish 15th, leading home two other Mercedes-powered cars, including his teammate Lando Norris.
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