Alonso: Playing catch-up in F1 is no excuse for current form

Fernando Alonso says he cannot use his lack of recent race experience in a Formula 1 car as an excuse for his lacklustre performance at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Alonso: Playing catch-up in F1 is no excuse for current form

The Spaniard is returning to F1 after two seasons away, and has faced a battle to get fully comfortable with Alpine as he gets back into the swing of things. But despite an encouraging run in the Bahrain GP opener, he had a more difficult time at Imola last weekend.

The two-time F1 world champion was outqualified by teammate Esteban Ocon, spun in the wet conditions before the start and then ran in the midfield before Kimi Raikkonen’s post-race time penalty handed him his first point of the season.

On a weekend when drivers in new teams appeared to struggle more, Alonso said that the tricky wet conditions certainly did not help those adapting to new surroundings.

However, he said it would be wrong to use that as an excuse as he admitted he needed to be better prepared for future races.

“It feels kind of obvious that every lap I do, every lap we do, these drivers, we feel more comfortable,” Alonso said about the challenge new drivers were facing. “Here [at Imola] it was a triple experience, because from lap one to the end we changed conditions and we changed grip level so many times during the race. We had one red flag, we had one standing start, we had one rolling start.

“There were a lot of things to practice and a lot of things to go through that normally take four or five races. And we compressed all in one race with a lot of activity.

“So I’m happy with the learnings. I’m also happy with feeling the car in wet conditions, as obviously our testing was one-and-a-half days in Bahrain but it was the very first time in wet conditions, the very first time in inter conditions, the very first time in conditions with only one narrow dry line. So a lot of lessons to take from here to analyse.

“Feeling-wise, from lap one to 63, I felt 300% better in a way of how confident I am with the car. But this cannot be an excuse to say that we did not perform well, I did not perform well. I have to be more prepared and more ready next time.

“It doesn’t matter if you have little time or no time in the car, I will try to be better next time.”

Read Also:

Alonso said he did not expect it to be easy on his F1 return, and reckons it will still take a few more races before he is at a level of performance that he is happy with.

“I am where I expected to be, but you always want to be more and higher up and you want to be a little bit more confident in the car,” he said. “Probably I was not confident in Bahrain or confident here, and I will not be confident in Portimao.

“This is not a feeling that goes from day to night and then you are 100% - it will take time. But I’m here to work and I’m here to get better. And a race like this one helps massively because you can feel the car in very difficult conditions and you can learn a lot more than just a normal race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Russell insists Bottas crash won’t harm Mercedes relationship

Previous article

Russell insists Bottas crash won’t harm Mercedes relationship

Next article

Hamilton, Wallace react to Chauvin guilty verdict

Hamilton, Wallace react to Chauvin guilty verdict
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Emilia Romagna GP
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams Alpine
Author Jonathan Noble
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021