Fernando Alonso has conceded there is little chance of Alpine closing in on rivals McLaren and Ferrari to create a three-way battle for third in the championship but has refused to write off the team's chances altogether.
McLaren came out on top of the race for third in F1's constructors' standings last season with 202 points, just seven ahead of Racing Point [now Aston Martin] and 21 ahead of Renault [now Alpine], with Ferrari well off the pace in sixth.
It is a different story this season, however, with Alpine languishing in seventh having picked up just 29 points while McLaren has already amassed 110 with Ferrari on 94.
“I think McLaren and Ferrari are stronger from the first race, so I don’t think we are in that position, unfortunately, but you never know," said Alonso.
"We saw in Portugal we were faster than Ferrari in race pace, today as well.
“There are some circuits that give you some hope, but I think it’s going to be challenging. At the moment we are behind Aston Martin and AlphaTauri, they are very strong as well, so it’s going to be interesting.
“We will try to score points every weekend and try to be consistent. We’ve been a bit too much up and down, especially Baku and Monaco. We don’t want to feel uncompetitive anywhere, we want to be as consistent as possible.”
Alpine unlikely to make big improvements
Alonso believes Alpine will not be able to deliver the improvements required to make a dent in the championship positions ahead, claiming that it is very rare for teams to move up and down significantly once their status is set.
Teams must also put more focus on their future cars this season, in preparation for a significant rule change next year and Alonso added: “I don’t think that we will see any big things happening in the championship, to be honest.
“Even without the 2022 cars, I never remember a championship that it changed too much at this point of the year.
“Even if in practice sometimes we see different teams, we arrive in qualifying and we see the Mercedes and Red Bulls fighting for pole positions, then there is the McLarens, Ferraris, Alpine sometimes, and [Pierre] Gasly.
“It has been the same for seven races so I don’t see why this could change dramatically until the end, so, yeah, we will be just fighting for Q3, I guess, between eighth and 12th, and in the race is fighting for some points.
“There are always different races, safety cars, opportunities, like Baku we saw a few weeks ago, and in those cases we need to maximise the opportunities, but I don’t think the championship will change from now until the end.”
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