Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has described the team as being "lost" at the start of the 2021 F1 season but praised the 'muscles developed' to recover.
Alpine only failed to register points at two races last year but struggled for outright pace in the early stages of the season.
A difficult pre-season test was followed by opening rounds that, whilst still showing competitiveness in the midfield, had shown the team had taken a step back from its battle from third in the standings in 2020.
Strong results later in the season ensured Alpine would secure fifth in the constructors' standings but speaking in a post-season interview including GPFans, Rossi explained: “At the beginning of the season, we were lost.
“Monaco actually is a very sore memory, like a bad moment. We were lost. We had no idea what to do. We scored points but we don't even know how.
"That was difficult because we couldn't understand the car so well. It was early days. After that, we knew what to expect."
Alpine appeared to turn a corner late in the year as Fernando Alonso registered the first podium of his F1 comeback in Qatar whilst Esteban Ocon narrowly missed out on a podium of his own in Saudi Arabia.
“Obviously, there was a pattern in the last three races - night races, low temperatures," added Rossi.
"[Through] fast curves we good. [Abu Dhabi] we know we are good. [There was] good Tarmac, so traction was not a problem.
“On tarmac where the traction is a problem then we struggle finding the balance, on Tarmac where traction is not a problem, that set, we can focus on improving the rest. Our balance goes this way and it explains Austin by the way. Austin you just like bump all the time, there's no traction there.
“We have to work on the traction when we do that we don't work on the rest because the balance doesn't work. We knew, and that's the most important for me because the team has developed the muscles."