The timing was perfect then for what could be considered one of Alonso’s best career drives from his long catalogue of Formula 1 performances. Qualifying fourth behind his team-mate Lance Stroll, the 42-year-old Spaniard had to repass several cars after a slow getaway. Despite initially losing some time, Alonso was able to fight his way up to third come the close of the race.
It was at this point that the faster Red Bull of Perez sought to steal the final podium spot off Alonso. What followed was an all-time historical battle that allowed the Aston Martin veteran to utilise every ounce of skill he has developed from his 20 years in F1.
Holding off Perez for multiple laps, Alonso eventually had to concede third place to the Mexican driver. Although Perez didn’t pull away and was soon himself defending from a rampaging Alonso. The pressure forced the Red Bull to run wide into turn one and Alonso was able to repass for third before holding on by mere inches in a drag race to the line.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after his podium celebrations, an ecstatic Alonso praised Perez for allowing the pair to fight hard but fair.
“It was nice. It was a clean battle, very aggressive, but it was a clean battle with Checo,” said Alonso.
“I think he has a very good record on finishing the races and always battles hard, keeping both cars on track. I knew that it was coming, I knew that he was a threat and it was maybe more difficult than I thought, to be honest. Five laps to the end, I thought that I had things under control, so I start pushing and I look at the mirror and Checo was there and I said ‘Uh-Oh!’”
A well-timed podium for Aston Martin
While this performance handed the Aston Martin team their eighth podium of the campaign, it has come off the back of their worst run of results all year long. Six of those rostrum appearances came in the opening eight rounds, but since then the British team have struggled to develop their AMR23.
“For the team, I think we struggled a lot in the last few races but we never lost focus and what was the target,” Alonso continued. “We went deep in analysis, we stayed untied, we stayed together and this was a very nice thing to witness in the last few events.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.