Why Alonso has found F1 return better than expected
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After two seasons away, Alonso made his return with the rebranded Alpine outfit alongside Esteban Ocon.The Spaniard looked like he hadn’t lost any of his speed or grit in the Bahrain opener as he progressed into Q3, while Ocon didn’t make it out of Q1.The subsequent four rounds have been less fruitful for the two-time champion, failing to out-qualify or out-race Ocon in any of the races.Assessing his performances so far this season, Alonso said ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix: “There are a couple of things that we need to keep working on. One is the tyre preparation, how to switch the tyres on, especially on Saturdays. Sundays, I am more or less happy with the performance in these races.“I’ve been in the points two times but the three times we were not in the points, we finished a few tenths off the points because we were in that group that were backing the last couple of cars between tenth and 13th, or whatever. I am happy with Sundays, not happy with Saturdays and the main limitation at the moment that I am finding is switching on the tyres.“I think it’s a matter of time that we put things in the right place and in that aspect, I am not too worried in terms of performance, and in terms of happiness or how I feel coming back, it’s better than I expected, honestly. I am enjoying so much every weekend, enjoying driving so much. Even the weekends we don’t have racing, I miss the grand prix! Now that we have three races – France and two Austria, I will enjoy because I like the back-to-back.”Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Sainz explains how F1 team switches have helped him settle into Ferrari quicklyaccImages.createImage(); Sainz explains how F1 team switches have helped him settle into Ferrari quicklyAlonso cited his two-year break away from the sport and positive Alpine team environment as the two main factors to why he’s loving his second spell in F1.“One as you said, the two years that I had out of the sport was needed for me after 18 seasons in F1, non-stop, full dedication,” Alonso added. “It was too demanding at one point and I had in my head other challenges with Le Mans, with Daytona, with the World Endurance Championship possibility etc. I had to do those in a way and tick those boxes to be happy and to be free to come back and enjoy.“Until I was not doing those challenges, I thought I was losing time in F1, some of the last seasons before ‘18. So once those challenges were completed, now I am free in a way to enjoy every weekend.Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Norris: I can’t drive 2021 McLaren F1 car the way that I want toaccImages.createImage(); Norris: I can’t drive 2021 McLaren F1 car the way that I want to“And the second is the team. What atmosphere we have now, what motivation we have in the team, in Enstone, in Viry, the hard work that everyone is putting [in], how we approach every weekend, how we approach the little success that we have some weekends and how we approach the bad moments in some other weekends. We are all united in the same direction and this feels very good every week.”
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