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
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022