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Alonso "relief" to see Alpine wipe away past "doubts"

Alonso "relief" to see Alpine wipe away past "doubts"

F1 News

Alonso "relief" to see Alpine wipe away past "doubts"

Alonso "relief" to see Alpine wipe away past "doubts"
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Fernando Alonso has revealed his “relief” at seeing Alpine get to grips with its race performance on a “conventional” circuit after finishing eighth in the French Grand Prix.

Alonso stated the car’s inconsistency during the previous races in Monaco and Baku created uncertainty in the team but believes a solid weekend on home soil for Alpine at the Paul Ricard Circuit has now put minds at rest.

“I am happy," said Alonso. "I’m happier every race. In Portugal and Barcelona, we did a step forward in terms of competitiveness and happiness with the car [but] Monaco and Baku came and put some doubts on everyone.

“We were uncompetitive - not lost, but we had some problems with the car. Now, coming back to a conventional circuit, it was a relief to see we are performing well and fighting in the top 10 regularly.

“It was a good Sunday, good points for the team, another four points in the pocket, I think it’s a good execution of the race, to finish in front of both Ferraris and Aston Martin.

“It was a good race. For the rest of the championship, we will be up and down a bit, depending on the circuit characteristics, but I am happy we can extract the maximum from the car.”

Alonso strong on starts

Two-time champion Alonso, who returned to F1 with Alpine this season after two years away, now feels he is finally up to speed with the current style of racing.

The 39-year-old believes a good start is key to setting up a good race, explaining: “[The start] has been my strongest point for 20 years, so why not still now. The starts are the moment of the race where you have to improvise.

“You need to be creative, there is no tyre performance, no car performance, it’s just yourself and your instinct and I am enjoying those kinds of laps. The first lap has always been a strong point.

“Now I am more comfortable with the car, with the start procedure as well, happy with the starts so far but then slowly in the race you fall to your deserved position.

“In France, it was around 10 or 11th in the first stint and then eighth or ninth in the second.

"In Baku, we were in Q3 and finished P6, in Paul Ricard we were in Q3 and finished P8, so I think we are getting better and better.”

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