De la Rosa spills the tea on Alonso’s showy speed

Just hours after Fernando Alonso set the track ablaze with his top time in Jeddah’s free practice, Pedro de la Rosa, an Aston Martin ambassador closely aligned with Alonso, played down the significance of these early showings.

“It’s just practice,” Alonso himself remarked, hinting at the myriad of engine modes and fuel strategies that skew practice session results. Despite the buzz around Alonso’s performance, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen seemed unfazed, attributing the times to increased power outputs akin to previous sessions. “I guess the others used a little more power, just like they did a week ago,” Verstappen commented, confident in Red Bull’s prowess over longer stints. “As far as the long runs go, I’m pretty happy,” he added, indicating a focus on race day performance.

However, the real test of Grand Prix success, the ‘long run’ pace, appears to be an area where de la Rosa admits Aston Martin and Alonso are currently lacking. Despite his close association with Alonso, de la Rosa shared his frank assessment with DAZN, “I haven’t seen the long runs in depth yet,” but conceded, “they haven’t been that good. We cannot compare ourselves with Red Bull, that’s clear. Their long run was really spectacular. But it was also spectacular in Bahrain,” acknowledging Red Bull’s dominance.

Meanwhile, Dr. Helmut Marko of Red Bull casts his gaze beyond Aston Martin, with Ferrari in his sights, and a belief that McLaren underperformed in Bahrain. “It’s a fast circuit and everything is close together,” Marko observed in Jeddah, emphasizing the importance of track conditions and temperatures on race performance.

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