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Alonso 'never blamed Alpine' for slow start

Alonso 'never blamed Alpine' for slow start

F1 News

Alonso 'never blamed Alpine' for slow start

Alonso 'never blamed Alpine' for slow start
Ewan Gale & Ian Parkes

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski has praised Fernando Alonso's work ethic with the Spaniard now "comfortable" in the A521.

Two-time world champion Alonso made his F1 return at the start of the season but started slowly, collecting just five points from the opening five races.

Alonso's speed has since returned, however, with some scintillating racecraft catching the eye of his competitors with both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel complimenting his abilities.

"I've got to say that not a single time at the beginning of the season did he say that the car wasn't good enough, or the setup is not good enough, or the team is not working well enough," Budkowski told media including GPFans Global.

"He said 'Yes, we're missing two-tenths, it's on my side, I'll find that. Bear with me'.

"He just worked hard. He got his head down, worked with the engineers, and knowingly, he knew that he had to squeeze this last bit of lap time from the car, and progressively every race he's getting a bit more comfortable."

Bahrain test helped Alonso on opening weekend

Alonso was able to reach the top 10 shootout in the first qualifying of his return, with Budkowski citing testing in Bahrain as a reason as to why the 40-year-old struggled less at the circuit compared to other venues.

"The interesting thing with Fernando's return, much has been said about his return to form and his difficult start of the season, in Bahrain, he put the car in Q3 on the first try," he added.

"Then he had a series of slightly more difficult races, or actually more difficult qualifying sessions because he was always very competitive in the race. He was just struggling to extract the 110% that you have to extract from the car on a qualifying effort.

"I thought about it recently, questioning this specific point of why he was good in Bahrain and struggled a bit more in the following races, and I believe - I haven't discussed it with Fernando actually - but I believe that we tested in Bahrain before and he had a bit more time to get accustomed to the car and the track and to push it.

"On a normal race weekend, it's always a bit more tricky."

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