Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft

Alpine Formula 1 executive director Marcin Budkowski says the Enstone team has been "blown away" by Fernando Alonso's race craft across the first half of the 2021 season.

Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft

Alonso made headlines when he produced a tenacious drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix, crucially holding off Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for several laps while teammate Esteban Ocon secured his maiden victory.

But Budapest wasn't the first time 40-year-old Alonso left his Enstone team stunned by his race craft and his ability to read races from the cockpit, the double world champion often being aware of the full picture as much as his team on the pitwall.

"I've worked with a number of drivers a bit more than 20 years in F1 and he is extremely impressive," Budkowski said. "He's impressive in his approach, which is very, very professional.

"The other thing that blows me away is his race craft. And I think we've seen it in the [Silverstone] sprint race, we've seen it in Baku, they were great opportunities to see that.

"What Fernando did in Silverstone was effectively forming a DRS train behind him, because he wasn't afraid of [Lance] Stroll but he was afraid of [Pierre] Gasly and therefore he eliminated any possible attack from Gasly by putting him in Stroll's DRS.

"For me it's mind blowing almost because we're sat on the pit wall, we have all the data, we have full visibility on the race.

"He is in the car driving at full speed and he has almost the same analysis of the race that we have on the pit wall with nowhere near as much data and an ability to take a step back.

"That's I think the thing that impresses me the most in Fernando. I guess it's 20 years of experience driving Formula 1 cars but not many drivers, even with 20 years experience, will be capable of that."

Alonso claimed that his two decades of experience in F1 has only made him a better driver, suggesting he would now beat his 23-year-old self "with one hand".

Read Also:

Budkowski has also noticed Alonso is still as hungry and ambitious as ever, and believes the Spaniard will remain in F1 for years to come if Alpine manages to give him a fast car.

"How long [he'll go on], it's a question for Fernando, [but] he doesn't feel like an old man ready to retire," Budkowski explained.

"He's hungry, he's looking forward to next year. Every time he's in a factory he's asking how's next year car coming along.

"You can see that he's enjoying it, he's happy to be back in Formula 1 but obviously he's ambitious, like our ambition is to do better than we're doing now. That's what we're working hard on for next year and he's excited about that.

"If we give him a competitive car next year, I don't think he's going to go anywhere anytime soon, because he's going to want more and more of it."

shares
comments

Related video

Why Alfa Romeo is convinced its 2021 pain is worth it

Previous article

Why Alfa Romeo is convinced its 2021 pain is worth it

Next article

Red Bull teams in "good place" with current F1 driver line-up

Red Bull teams in "good place" with current F1 driver line-up
Load comments
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021