Fernando Alonso has smile on his face when Aston Martin says that Red Bull are beatable, as he remains optimistic to start F1 2024.

The benchmark to begin with is certainly Red Bull to beat for F1 2024. The likes of Mercedes, Alpine, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin are all gunning for the top spot, but somewhere are realistic too that it will be an uphill task to begin with.

Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows certainly believes that Red Bull are beatable, even though the two F1 teams were at some gap at the end of the 2023 season. He thinks the gap will get lower due to the concept convergence as the season progresses.

“People are getting very close and I think that suggests people are probably less able to take a big conceptual step away from the kind of things that we’re seeing on the majority of cars,” said Fallows to media. “The thing is we’re really into finding lap times now from things that are really smaller details.

“They’re kind of more detailed elements of the floor and other parts of the car. But there’s still a lot of lap time to come and we take the approach that Red Bull are absolutely beatable. That’s what we’re chasing after – we’re focusing on them. And that’s what we’re aiming for.

“We talk about Red Bull because obviously they are the benchmark in terms of performance, but really for us, whoever’s the fastest car is the focus for us, and that’s what we’re looking at. I think rather than thinking about individual races, from an engineering point of view, we have to make a car that’s capable of operating at any circuit and being competitive, and that’s really what we’re focused on, is making a car that’s usable, that’s good for the drivers, and that’s what we’ve really tried to focus on.

“Those competitive stats and how we get close to Red Bull will come after that. If we put that performance on the car, then we give ourselves the ability to compete at that level, which is exactly what we want,” summed up Fallows.

Alonso, meanwhile, has a smile on his face hearing what Fallows said. But he is realistic, even though there is some optimism. He has seen how their rivals have progressed in this period and so he is waiting to see how they perform in the first few races.

“Well, that’s a good thing that he says that,” said Alonso. “I put a smile on my face, I didn’t speak with Dan for a few weeks now. But yeah, I think we have to be optimistic at this part of the season, and I think we saw last year as well, Ferrari finished really strong and achieved a few pole positions in the last part of the year.

“McLaren also did a huge step during the season and got close to Red Bull in a few races. So yeah, let’s see what happens. I think we have to be regular in the points first, fighting for podiums, so be a contender for podiums as we did last year. And then if we are in that position, it will be lovely to achieve the first victory in green for Aston Martin.

“And hopefully I can be behind the wheel at that moment. But I think we have to go step by step, it’s going to be very tight. There are four or five teams within two or three tenths of a second this year, I bet. So that will put you with two tenths of a second fighting for podiums or fighting out of the top ten. So we need to be really focused on that,” summed up Alonso.

Teammate Lance Stroll added: “I don’t think our goal is really to go out and beat Red Bull. I mean, we want to get there eventually, but our goal is really to just be the strongest team we can be. We have a lot of ideas, a lot of things in the pipeline to be a much stronger team. And that’s where our focus is at.”

Here’s Fernando Alonso on changed regime for F1 2024

Here’s Aston Martin completing its shakedown

Here’s Fernando Alonso about Lewis Hamilton and his own future

Here’s Aston Martin undertaking Pirelli tyre testing

Here’s Fernando Alonso on Adrian Newey

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