SportF1Alonso sees Alpine better prepared for this year's F1

Alonso sees Alpine better prepared for this year's F1

The former Renault team is still reshuffling with chief executive Marcin Budkowski and adviser Alain Prost already leaving Alpine ahead of the 2022 season. Former Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer is expected to join them in a similar role.

And although the 2021 season was inconsistent for Alpine, they are confident they have strengthened their project, with CEO Laurent Rossi stating that the gradual improvement of the team behind the lights was as important as Esteban Ocon’s win at the Hungarian GP .

Fernando Alonso agreed that Alpine is “in better shape now” than at the start of last season, when they headed into 2021.

“We still don’t have all the problems resolved, but everyone will have a different opinion,” said the Spaniard.

“Obviously, with the experience of having worked for different teams, I could see some things where we were weak, and other areas where we were very strong. You always try to make the team stronger and more prepared to 2022”.

“I think we are in better shape now than we were last March before Bahrain, but there are still some things that I am sure we will have to fix.”

“I think we need to close the gap in terms of engine, that’s why this new project exists, and we also need to close the gap in aerodynamic performance.”

“It’s hard to tell what the difference is, so right now there’s only hope, but I understand that hope is every team. It’s not just us, and what we’re going to find this year is completely uncharted territory.”

Alonso said he believes Alpine now has the right resources to approach and be with the top teams, and admitted that they will no longer be able to make the excuse of having a smaller budget compared to Mercedes, Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, because the budget cap of F1 (123 million euros in 2022) is the same for everyone.

“I am optimistic, we have the right resources, we have the commitment of Luca de Meo, of Laurent Rossi, all of our top management are committed to Formula F1,” he added.

“The budget cap should help because there is no longer an unlimited budget for the top teams. Now it’s more or less the same budget for everyone and it’s up to us to make a good car. If we don’t, we will learn from our mistakes.”

“But there will be no more comments of ‘we have less budget’ or ‘we have less resources’ or ‘they are using two wind tunnels’. There will be no more of those things, so it’s up to us.”

Waiting for the new one, these have been Alonso’s F1: which one do you like the most?

Minardi M01 (1999)

Minardi M01 (1999)

1 / 24
As a reward for having won the Euro Open Movistar Nissan, Alonso was able to make his debut, at just 18 years old, at the wheel of a Formula 1. It was in Jerez, in December 1999, and despite the fact that his debut was in the wet, he already left a Print.

Photo by: LAT Images

Benetton B200 (2000)

Benetton B200 (2000)

2 / 24
After shining in Formula 3000, Flavio Briatore set his eyes on him. He got into the Benetton Renault, with the permission of Minardi, in the December tests that four teams carried out in Barcelona. Already on the second day he managed to be the second fastest, and got enough mileage to get the super license.

Photo by: LAT Images

Minardi PS01 (2001)

Minardi PS01 (2001)

3 / 24
Alonso signed for Renault, which, with both seats occupied, gave it to Minardi. The PS01 was his first car as a starter in Formula 1, and he was the third youngest driver to make his debut. The little potential of the single-seater prevented him from scoring his first points, but he left a great sensation in his inaugural season. His best result was a 10th position, but at that time finishing in that position did not mean scoring. 21 was his first number in Formula 1.

Photo by: Minardi Formula 1

Renault B201 (2002)

Renault B201 (2002)

4 / 24
In January 2002 he tested the 2001 Renault at the Circuit de Catalunya. Although his helmet was the official one, the decoration of the Renault was not. The stickers were conspicuous by their absence and instead of the blue with which it had competed, the B201 was yellow and white, a color combination that Renault did not use until 2007.

Photo by: LAT Images

Renault R22 (2002)

Renault R22 (2002)

5 / 24
Renault decided to have him among its ranks in 2002, albeit as a test driver for a team whose starters were Button and Jarno Trulli. It was a step back in his career… to gain momentum.

Photo by: Mark Gledhill

Jaguar R3 (2002)

Jaguar R3 (2002)

6 / 24
At the request of Niki Lauda himself, Jaguar enlisted the services of Alonso that same year in a test held at Silverstone. He performed at a high level in a car unknown to him, and was 4th, being faster than the two team drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Eddie Irvine. There was no advertising on his helmet.

Photo by: Mark Gledhill

Renault R23 (2003)

Renault R23 (2003)

7 / 24
The R23 was Alonso’s first winning car. With the blue and yellow colors, characteristic of his first stage in Renault, Alonso achieved his first podium, first fastest lap, first pole and first victory in Formula 1. He wore the number 8, and with it he was 6th in the championship. An especially effective single-seater on starts.

Photo by: LAT Images

Renault R24 (2004)

Renault R24 (2004)

8 / 24
Also with the number 8 and also designed by Mike Gascoyne, and already changing Mild Seven for Telefónica on the rear wing, Alonso played his second full season with Renault in the R24. He could not repeat victory, but added more points and finished the year 4th.

Photo by: LAT Images

Renault R25 (2005)

Renalt R25 (2005)

9/24 _
A very reliable car (extremely reliable when compared to the McLaren that it had as its only rival in terms of performance), and a great season by Alonso allowed him to become world champion with two races to go. Given the classification of the previous year, he wore the 5 in the single-seater.

Photo by: Dave Dyer

Renault R26 (2006)

Renault R26 (2006)

10 / 24
Mild Seven had already disappeared from the car, his place taken on the pontoons and ‘Team Spirit’ engine cover. And the 1, of course, appeared on the nose as a sign that a world champion was inside. Renault hit the nail on the head thanks in large part to the ‘Mass dumper’ system, which was deemed illegal and banned from the second half of the season. It was a system placed in the front area of the car that allowed a better weight distribution, greater stability and less tire wear. By the time Renault retired him, it was already too late for Ferrari and despite a brilliant performance in the latter part of the championship, Schumacher was unable to retire with his eighth title. Alonso resisted and prevailed, achieving his second crown.

Photo by: Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

Mclaren MP4/21 (2006)

Mclaren MP4/21 (2006)

11 / 24
His first contact with his new team, McLaren, was in Jerez, in December 2006. With a car without stickers and a completely white helmet (commercial contracts ended at the end of that year), it was the first time he could be seen the Asturian at the wheel of a car from Woking.

Photo By: Sutton Motorsport Images

McLaren MP4-22 (2007)

McLaren MP4-22 (2007)

12 / 24
Alonso took the 1 to McLaren, and what happened that season is for book or movie. All in all, the Spaniard finished third, level on points with second (a rookie Lewis Hamilton) and just one point behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Vodafone had also arrived at McLaren, which had an important presence in the car and, as Fly Emirates had done a year before, made both wings predominate in red.

Photo by: Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

Renault R28 (2008)

Renault R28 (2008)

13 / 24
Due to the untenable situation at McLaren, he returned to Renault which, under the sponsorship of ING, had changed its livery. There was no trace of blue anymore, and white was blending with yellow and orange. Alonso returned to 5 in his car and Bob Bell, Pat Symonds and Denis Chevrier were behind his design. Although the R28 was no match for the Ferrari or the McLaren, it was better than the R27, and Alonso finished 5th. He had two wins that year, in Singapore and Japan.

Photo By: Sutton Motorsport Images

Renault R29 (2009)

Renault R29 (2009)

14 / 24
The decoration of the R29 continued in the same vein as the two previous Renault models, although yellow gained prominence on the rear wing. His car began to carry the number 7, a number that he had not had before in Formula 1 (on the previous occasion in which he found himself in the fourth team he had worn 8). It was not a competitive car from the start, and Renault focused its efforts in the middle of the year for 2010. Alonso was 9th, with a single podium finish and no wins before leaving for Ferrari.

Photo By: Sutton Motorsport Images

Ferrari F10 (2010)

Ferrari F10 (2010)

15 / 24
Willing to forget a bad 2009, Ferrari and Alonso joined forces. The Spaniard took the place of Raikkonen, with Massa as his teammate, with an F10 sporting the number 8. In his debut with the Scuderia he took victory, but was unable to repeat the victory in the following nine races. The second half of the year was better, and Fernando went into the final race in Abu Dhabi with an 8-point lead over Webber, 15 over Vettel and 24 over Hamilton. Ferrari fell into the trap of Red Bull, and Alonso spent that race behind Vitaly Petrov, unable to overtake Renault. He was 7th and was four points away from the world championship.

Photo by: Hazrin Yeob Men Shah

Ferrari F150º Italy (2011)

Ferrari F150º Italia (2011)

16 / 24
Designed by Aldo Costa and Nikolas Tombazis, the 2011 Ferrari of the Year was named 150º Italia. In the first place it was going to be the Ferrari F150 (for the 150th anniversary of the reunification of Italy), but a controversy with Ford, which had a pick-up called the F-150, forced the change. In any case, it was a car unable to fight for the championship, far behind Red Bull and also behind McLaren. Alonso was 4th, after Vettel, Button and Webber, one point off the podium and with the victory of Great Britain as the best result.

Photo by: LAT Images

Ferrari F2012 (2012)

Ferrari F2012 (2012)

17 / 24
Like the previous year, Alonso took the 5, and Ferrari managed to improve, giving him the chance to fight for the championship. Thirteen podiums were not enough, and Vettel took the title in a historic race in Brazil. The three-time championship slipped away again. Visually, the ‘duck beak’ (stepped nose) stands out.

Photo by: Steve Etherington/Motorsport Images

Ferrari F138 (2013)

Ferrari F138 (2013)

18 / 24
The F138 (13 for the year and 8 for the last season of the V8 engines), Alonso was able to beat Webber’s Red Bull, but could not even come close to Vettel’s, and finished runner-up. Already without the ‘duck nose’, the Spaniard rose to the podium nine times (with two victories).

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar/Motorsport Images

Ferrari F14T (2014)

Ferrari F14T (2014)

19 / 24
For 2014, F1 drivers were forced to choose a number that they would race with for the rest of their careers. Alonso kept the 14, and Ferrari did not adapt to the new turbo hybrid era. He could only be sixth, with two podiums without victory. It was his last Ferrari.

Photo by: Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

McLaren MP4-30 (2015)

McLaren MP4-30 (2015)

20 / 24
In 2015, Alonso returned to McLaren, which was once again joining forces with Honda. The Woking team left behind the silver color of Mercedes and the possibility of fighting for podiums and victories. It was quite a different team from 2007, now without Hamilton, but the engine was very unreliable and Fernando spent more time off the track than on it. The chassis was also not very outstanding, and he was only able to score points in two grands prix, with 5th place in Hungary being the best result.

Photo by: Carlos Herrera de los Santos

McLaren MP4-31 (2016)

McLaren MP4-31 (2016)

21 / 24
The last MP4- that Alonso has driven before his team changed the name of their cars. It was an even blacker car and cleaner of sponsors. It was a good year for the Spaniard, but it was only enough for McLaren to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He was 10th with 54 points, far from 9th.

Photo by: McLaren

McLaren MCL32 (2017)

McLaren MCL32 (2017)

22 / 24
With a new name following the departure of Ron Dennis over the winter, a return to the orange color of McLaren’s early days and a completely redesigned aerodynamics (including shark wing) to adapt to the new technical regulations, the MCL32 could not shine due to the engine Sling. McLaren finished penultimate in the World Championship and Alonso 15th, scoring points in only 5 races.

Photo by: LAT Images

McLaren MCL33 (2018)

McLaren MCL33 (2018)

23 / 24
Woking’s latest creation for Alonso, already with the Renault engine in its rear, aspired to return the McLaren team to where it belonged. They didn’t make it, and despite a hopeful debut in Australia (5th), Alonso couldn’t do anything with a car that since the middle of the season had struggled to be… the worst on the grid.

Photo by: McLaren

Alpine A521 (2021)

24 / 24
Alonso returned to F1 after two years away, and he did so at the hands of Alpine, the new name of the old Renault team. The first races after the return were not easy, but little by little he regained his level and showed that he had not lost any freshness. He completed great races, achieved a podium for the first time since 2014 and finished the year in the top 10 of the drivers’ championship, 10th with 81 points.

Photo by: Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

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