Alpine’s Fernando Alonso says inexperience in his A521 and rustiness in his return are not excuses for poor form.
Alonso, who finished tenth at Imola in the Grand Prix to collect his first points since his return to F1 in the Bahrain GP, shares that he was able to learn from his second outing – also the first race he’s completed in full since his return.
With each new experience, Alonso says, he learns and Imola provided a plethora of opportunities to learn with changing conditions and great variety in the race: “It feels kind of obvious that every lap I do, every lap we do, these drivers, we feel more comfortable,” he said to written media.
“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,” Alonso said.
The Spaniard insists he is capable of more, citing his various career moves as evidence of his adaptability. In the upcoming Portuguese GP, he promises to be performing at an even higher level. “I’ve changed things many times,” he said.
“Even I changed category or different series in motorsport many times and there is always a period of adaptation. But that has been never and excuse and it’s going to be not an excuse now. I should be better. I was not at the right level this weekend, but I will be in Portimao,” summed up Alonso.
His race almost didn’t start after he ran into the barrier on the way to the grid. Even in the grand prix, he spun while looking at the incident between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, as he ran over a wet patch. He finished 11th initially but a penalty to Kimi Raikkonen, helped him to be 10th, just behind teammate Esteban Ocon.
Here’s the onboard of Fernando Alonso’s spin: https://www.formula1.com/en/video/2021/4/2021_Emilia_Romagna_Grand_Prix__Alonso_spins_in_Bottas_and_Russell_crash_debris.html
Here’s how F1 Imola GP panned out