Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski believes Fernando Alonso is recreating his famed starts from his F1 title-winning years.
The Spaniard continued his fine form in his comeback to F1 from a two-year absence by scything his way through the field in the inaugural sprint race before adding more points to his tally with a seventh-place finish in the British Grand Prix.
Alonso initially starred in the 17-lap, 100-kilometre sprint, rising from 11th to fifth on the opening lap before falling behind both McLarens to cement seventh on the grid for the main race.
"He was the driver of the day," insisted Budkowski. "There wasn't one on Saturday but there should be one - he was driver of the day.
"I wasn't here in 2005 and 2006, I was at Ferrari, but a few people said it was the starts Fernando used to do in these times and it was part of him being clever and a bit of a fox, exploiting every opportunity on track.
"We know his racecraft is second to none, he is exceptional. Maybe a bit of experience as well, we saw Seb [Vettel] do well, Kimi [Raikkonen] did well as well so maybe there were people having a nose for those kinds of opportunities."
Alpine had "doubts" over sprint
The inaugural sprint event can be considered a success given the on-tack action provided and the drama created by the race for pole.
Every team in the field was committed to ensuring F1 was able to trial the format but Budkowski revealed: "We had doubts that it would be entertaining but actually, it was pretty good.
"First of all, there was the fight at the front and the change of position. There were people getting positions at the start.
"There was more on-track action than I thought there would be because actually, there are no points at the end of this race so I thought the drivers would take it a bit more carefully.
"But in reality, these guys with a closed visor just want to go racing. We saw a lot of good racing over 17 laps, more than I was expecting to see."
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