Fernando Alonso believes his Alpine team must be “realistic” about the potential to score “big points” on home soil in Sunday’s French Grand Prix after returning to the top ten in qualifying.
Alpine has struggled on street circuits at the last two races, despite Alonso’s sixth-place finish in Baku, and although the Spaniard qualified ninth at Paul Ricard he was cautious to predict big things on Sunday.
“It’s nice to be back in the top 10 after Monaco and Baku,” said Alonso. “I think P9 was the maximum, eighth was three-four tenths in front. That was unreachable today, but let’s see tomorrow in the race.
“I think big points is going to be a challenge. We have very competitive people around us. We have to be realistic. Optimistic yes, but realistic about the chances to score big points.
“I will take top six, like Baku, but for that we will need a restart or something at the end of the race! Even if we feel okay with the car and we feel happy there are a couple of cars and drivers that are stronger than us.
“Ferrari they were in pole [at the last two races] and now they are starting just in front of us and we are thinking to beat them, hopefully. I don’t know if we are exactly in the same league at the moment, so let’s see what we can do.”
Alpine car confusing on set-up
The season, the Alpine A521 has often performed differently in qualifying and the race and asked if the team now understands the issue behind this Alonso said: “It is not a clear trend.
“We had good performance, for example, in Portimao. In the race we had good speed and were overtaking people in the last couple of laps like crazy.
“It is nothing that tells us one way or the other, every weekend seems to change, so it’s a little bit of an unknown tomorrow, but on Friday it looked okay, the long-run pace, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
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