Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski has conceded the team is "a few tenths" behind midfield forerunners McLaren.
Last year, Renault, now Alpine, finished fifth in the constructors' championship after losing out in a season-long 'fight for third' between McLaren and Racing Point, now Aston Martin.
"You have McLaren that is strong, AlphaTauri was strong, Ferrari was strong – a little bit stronger than we expected them to be – and then there is us, Aston Martin," he said. "That is the group.
"But I think that group with McLaren, with Ferrari, with AlphaTauri, with ourselves and Aston Martin and I think Alfa Romeo was not far away either, that group is very tight and fifth or sixth to P16 is going to be tight.
“Circuit to circuit and conditions to conditions is going to be variable. Obviously, our objective is to be at the front of that group rather than at the rear. At the moment we are somewhere in the middle of it and we are short of a few tenths to be at the front."
Alpine left the season-opener without having troubled the scoreboard despite Alonso qualifying inside the top 10.
Despite his admission, Budkowski added he expects the midfield order to regularly change, just as it did last year.
“It could be different next race and it is going to be interesting to watch because people are going to develop their cars a little bit but not that long into the season because of the ’22 regulations," he said.
"It will be interesting. That midfield is going to be very, very competitive all season long I think."
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