Fernando Alonso admits that his Aston Martin Formula 1 team has to address the efficiency weakness that was highlighted in Monza qualifying and learn lessons from rivals Williams.
The Spaniard got through the first two qualifying segments in 10th and ninth places before finishing Q3 in 10th, which represents his worst grid position of the 2023 season so far.
Alonso says that it was apparent at the start of the season that the team needs to improve its straightline performance, and still has to understand why it is lagging behind Williams, whose car is always competitive at high-speed tracks.
“I think in Bahrain we found out weakness in the car and it is still the same,” he said. “And Monza we knew that we could face some issues.
“The remaining races in the calendar are maybe a little bit more friendly with our characteristics. So maybe after this one, we should be a little more optimistic.”
Alonso admitted it didn’t help that he failed to get a tow in Q3, although he conceded that it would not have helped him to move up the grid.
“I was not happy to be alone, first,” he said. “But now when I saw that we are four or five tenths to P9 that was impossible with any tow you can take. So, we are in the position we deserve.
“We need to understand how to make the car stronger in this type of tracks.
"And Williams is a clear example in these kinds of tracks. They are outstanding. So, we need to see what we can improve.”
Expanding on why Monza was so tough for the team, he said: “I think track characteristics, for sure, are not friendly with our car.
"Very efficient track in terms of aerodynamics, the drag level very important here, only six corners, the rest is just flat out on the straights.
“And we knew that it could be a tough weekend. And we confirmed that feeling in FP1, in FP2 and this morning, as well.
“Estimations in qualifying, it was between P9 and P12. And we are right in the middle, P10. So, no surprises but it's going to be a tough race tomorrow. And we have to still score points even if it's a difficult one.”
He added: “Also we have nothing to lose. We are just P10. So if there is something going on in the race, if everything goes wrong, you end up P13, P14, which is not much lost.
“If everything goes right, maybe you can be top six or top seven. So let's hope for something, some action tomorrow [today], and especially in the first corner in front of us.”
Alonso’s team-mate Lance Stroll had an even tougher time after no running on Friday, having given up his car to Felipe Drugovich for FP1 and then suffered a fuel system issue at the start of FP2. The Canadian could not better 20th and last place in Q1.
"It was definitely tricky but just not feeling any grip in the car,” he said when asked about his struggles by Motorsport.com.
“I'm not sure if it was no laps yesterday [Friday] or just generally in this session not getting to grips with it. But we've got to look into what happened because it was the worst session I think we've ever had.
"I didn't do a lap yesterday [Friday], but I think there was something going on today [Saturday] and the car that didn't make sense, and we've got to look into it.”