Fernando Alonso has revealed he is struggling to match the form of Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon at present even though he is currently 'giving 100 per cent'.
Alonso never expected to hit the ground running on his return to F1 after a two-year absence despite his extensive preparations towards the end of last season and over the winter.
After four grands prix the two-time F1 champion is still struggling to get up to speed, in particular after watching Ocon qualify sixth and fifth in the last two races in Portugal and Spain respectively while the 39-year-old only started from 13th and 10th.
"He's good," said Alonso, when asked to assess the form of Ocon. "We are seeing that.
"He is in very good form right now, fully integrated with the team, a podium last year in Bahrain in the last part of the championship, and now having perfect weekends.
"It is very good, very impressive what he is achieving now. I am giving my 100 per cent and that is not enough to be at that level at the moment, so I need to keep improving."
Alonso, however, feels he is part of a pattern with the team - when it was previously known as Renault - where a new driver has struggled to get to grips in year one before finally performing in the second season.
"We've talked about this, we anticipated this a little bit," added Alonso. "When Carlos [Sainz] joined Renault he was not as quick as [Nico] Hülkenberg, I remember.
"In the first couple of races Daniel [Ricciardo] was arguably slower than Nico in 2019, and he was very good in his second year in 2020, and Esteban struggled last year with Daniel, and he's good in this second year.
"It seems the team is a little bit different than the others, you need adaptation. I'm trying to do this as quick as I can.
"As I've said, I'm not worried, it's going to come."
What do you think?
I am impressed with Alonso's honest and dispassionate assessment with respect to coming up to speed with Ocon. He credits his team mate and makes no excuses. This is, in fact, a winning attitude and reveals a winning approach. My guess is that Alonso will come up to speed well before the season ends.
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