Formula 1 premiered rules in the 2022 season and that fueled anyone’s hopes. The new regulations were expected to allow a change in the competitive order of the grid, and that is where ‘The Plan’ emerged, that belief mixed with humor that expected a golden year for Alonso and Alpine .
However, it soon became apparent that the only thing the new rules had changed was Ferrari for Mercedes as Red Bull’s main rival, and that Alpine’s natural zone in the peloton was the midfield.
And in the end, reviewing the first part of the 2022 season, it is clear to us that only Fernando Alonso went to the ‘Plan’, that he did fulfill his part.
Fernando Alonso’s results in the 2022 Formula 1 season
|10||Fernando Alonso||41||2 /9||–||–||–||–||2 /9||6 /7||6 /7||2 /9||10 /5||1||8 /6||4 /8|
The 2022 Formula 1 preseason for Alonso and Alpine
After missing the team’s presentation in 2021 due to injury, Alonso was with Ocon at the launch of the 2022 car, which was surprising for having two versions (one blue and one pink, with which it would participate in the first two races).
Already in the first day of preseason in Barcelona, Alonso was the most active and achieved the eighth fastest time, admitting that they still had “a lot of work to do”. Ocon was also able to accumulate a lot of mileage on the second day, but on the third, again with Alonso at the wheel, the engine (which seemed to have taken a step forward) left the Asturian stranded. They were only winter tests, but Alonso already saw that others had arrived better prepared…
The second week of pre-season (in Bahrain) was not quiet either, and already on the first day the team had to close their garage to work on more problems after Alonso had only done 13 laps. Then, the Alpine failed on up to two occasions to an Ocon who still managed to be fifth on the second day. The third and last session was the most positive for an Alonso who finished third and with more than 120 laps.
Despite engine and reliability failures, Alonso and Alpine claimed to be “satisfied” with the A522 car at the first race, also in Bahrain.
Alonso and Alpin’s 2022 season in F1: results, performance and more
Without being able to catch up with Ferrari and Red Bull, Alpine’s clear objective became to be able to lead a middle area of the grid that seemed very close, taking advantage of Mercedes’ poor start. However, the German team would end up fishing in a troubled river and taking advantage of problems with the leaders to chase several podiums, and the fight for Alonso’s team became with McLaren F1 for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
- Alonso at the 2022 Bahrain GP. The first Grand Prix of the season served to resolve some doubts, and Alonso, with fifth place in Friday practice, breathed a sigh of relief. The positive surprise was confirmed on Saturday, when he qualified 8th as the only Alpine (with the pink version) in Q3. However, as would happen so many times later, on Sunday the car took a step back, or did not go far enough ahead of its rivals. With a great degradation of tires, Alonso was losing ground, but the problems and abandonment of the Red Bull allowed him to start the year adding to the top 10, being ninth.
- Alonso at the 2022 Saudi Arabian GP. The ghosts of the preseason reappeared when, between the first and second stops on the calendar, Alpine discovered a fault in Alonso’s engine and had to change it for the Saudi GP Saudi. Saturday was very positive for the French team: Ocon qualified fifth and Alonso seventh. But in the race some sparks flew, with a duel between teammates for sixth place (you can see it here), in which Ocon brushed the legal limit. Alonso emerged victorious from that stake, but the engine would leave him lying with 13 laps to go. Two races, two failed power units and only two points despite his good performance.
- Alonso at the 2022 Australian GP. The third round of the year was the first for the blue Alpine, leaving behind the double appearance of the pink car. At Albert Park, Alonso was able to enjoy an exhibition with a Supercar together with Checo Pérez on Thursday, and presented his aspirations for another new Q3 in free practice. In fact, he got it, but he suffered an accident during a lap that seemed incredible and that, according to the pilot himself, would have allowed him to fight for pole. The two-time champion did not hide his concern, since a hydraulic failure in the car had prevented him from turning and avoiding the accident, and the first time came when he regretted that everything had happened to his car, not his teammate’s. Before that he had left the first show of his intelligence when he pushed for the removal of a DRS zone harming Alpine. However, his level at the wheel and outside the car did not correspond to what he received, and in the race he finished 17th after a very questionable team strategy that left him “speechless”.
The start of the season had been worrying, and not precisely because of his performance. Already calmer, Alonso tried to see the optimism of a car that, although it was broken, had potential. In turn, he received the good news that only the engine from Saudi Arabia (and not the one from Bahrain or Australia) had been permanently lost.
- Alonso at the 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. Imola hosted the first of three 2022 F1 sprint events. In a chaotic Friday qualifying with as many as five red flags, Alonso shone to be fifth, hoping to score points on both Saturday and Sunday . However, lacking pace, he fell out of the points zone in the sprint race (9th) and suffered an unfortunate touch from Mick Schumacher in the main event, having to leave early and leaving empty-handed from the first European test .
Alonso already calculated that he should have “25 or 30” points despite the fact that he only added 2, and assured that as for him, it had been his best start since 2012. The table did not reflect reality.
- Alonso at the 2022 Miami GP. The Asturian celebrated F1’s first visit to Miami with a new helmet design, and on the first day at the new circuit he managed to be the best of the rest. On Saturday he was 32 thousandths away from moving on to Q3 after considering that Sainz’s Ferrari had harmed him and, wanting to completely change his luck, he was one of the protagonists of the race. He made a brutal start in which he touched Hamilton and then Gasly, receiving a five-second penalty. He would manage to save the ballot by crossing the finish line in ninth position, but another second penalty after the checkered flag for having skipped turn 14 (presumably gaining time) made him run out of points, eleventh. Another stick in a weekend in which, again, he used cunning to take advantage…
As the first rumors began to emerge that Alpine would choose between renewing Alonso or betting on its young Piastri for 2023, the team protected its driver by raising its voice against the penalty that left the #14 without points in Miami. And so, as the sixth stop on the calendar, the test as a local arrived…
- Alonso at the 2022 Spanish GP. Most of the teams introduced an important package of improvements in Barcelona, with the possibility of comparing the performance at that time of the year (May) with the one they had in the pre-season tests. In that comparison, Alonso praised the step forward that Alpine had taken since then and that allowed him to be 5th in FP1 and 6th in FP2. However, already in FP3 on Saturday it was clear that something was not right, and he ended up falling disappointingly in Q1 of qualifying. He revealed that he had different parts that had not worked, and the team opted to change the engine and penalize, with little to lose and looking to the future. From last position, he completed a great race to reach the points, ninth after a very good comeback that left him with a taste of victory.
- Alonso at the 2022 Monaco GP. Alpine and Alonso arrived in Monaco with full confidence, and although Friday showed that there was work to be done, they were inside the top 10. Then they sneaked both cars into Q3, in a classification in which Alonso made a mistake and suffered an accident that did not prevent him from being seventh on the grid. In a strange and crazy race, Alonso maintained seventh place and left another image meat for meme, that of the blue dot his Alpine on the FIA circuit map plugging numerous cars from behind while ahead they escaped. That generated an upset of Hamilton, who complained about the slowness of the Spaniard, who responded elegantly.
- Alonso at the 2022 Azerbaijan GP. In Monaco, Alonso set the all-time record for most laps completed in F1, and in Baku he overtook Schumacher as the driver with the longest career in F1 (greatest distance between the first and last races). There, in Azerbaijan, he allowed himself to dream of everything if there was a local race, and more after being fifth and fourth in Friday’s free practice. However, like other times, on Saturday Alpine came back to reality and Alonso ‘only’ could be tenth. In Sunday’s race, Alonso enjoyed the top speed of his car on the straight and the problems of some rivals to be seventh (equaling his best result of 2022), although he regretted a high degradation that prevented him from adding more.
While F1 2022 kept going over the problem of porpoising (that rebound of some cars on the straight), Toto Wolff revealed that everyone agreed to fix it except Alonso, who was not affected by the phenomenon.
In addition, Motorsport.com managed to find out that the positions between Alonso and Alpine to renew for 2023 were very close, but not concluded. And so came the Canadian GP, that great weekend…
- Alonso at the 2022 Canadian GP. The Alpine in the hands of the Spaniard already left a good feeling on Friday, when he was third in FP1 and fifth in FP2. However, the best was yet to come, and already in a wet FP3 on Saturday he surprised himself by leading, before astonishing everyone with a great qualifying in which he finished second. It was his first row on the grid in 10 years and, far from being satisfied, he promised that he would attack Verstappen at the start with nothing to lose. However, in the race, already in the dry, almost everything went wrong, and after being ruined by a Virtual Safety Car that finished too early and did not allow him to make a first stop without losing too much time, he would finish far from the podium, seventh. He made it to the finish behind teammate Ocon when Alpine didn’t allow them to change positions. Getting out of the car, he revealed a reliability problem with his car, yet another, which had weighed on his pace, and Black Sunday did not end there: he was penalized for allegedly defending aggressively against Valtteri Bottas and dropped to ninth place.
- Alonso at the 2022 British GP. The rain affected FP1 at Silverstone, where Alonso did not set a time. He was sixth in FP2 and was confident with the improvements Alpine introduced for that race. On Saturday, in FP3, Alpine suffered cracks in both of its cars, and qualifying was bittersweet for Alonso despite being seventh: in the rain, the Spaniard and his team misunderstood the end of Q3 and misused the battery, which left him with no possibility of a major crush. In the race, he achieved his best result of the year, fifth, with a good pace and complained about the defense of fourth-placed Leclerc, for whom he requested a sanction.
A new record fell there, the one with the greatest number of kilometers in the race in the history of F1, and as soon as he got out of the car he went to congratulate Carlos Sainz on his victory, the 33rd for Spain in the top category (the other 32 had been from Ferdinand).
Sainz congratulates the winner, Carlos Sainz
- Alonso at the 2022 Austrian GP . The second sprint event of the season could well be a very faithful summary of what the season is like for Alonso. There, in qualifying on Friday, he reached Q3 without problems, but his mistake damaged the lower part of his car, which only allowed him to be ninth. However, he was unable to even start the sprint race when his car stalled on the grid. The team was suspicious of an FIA standard part, the ECU, but eventually found it to be a problem of its own. Even so, and after changing engine, Alonso completed a great comeback on Sunday and was on his way to being sixth (despite having started 19th), but a bad pitstop by the team made him have to make a third stop and drop to tenth place. And he succeeded, avoiding sanction, by another tactical genius…
- Alonso at the 2022 French GP . The Spaniard arrived in France, the local Alpine race, wanting to recover good feelings, but Friday did not go as expected and he was outside the top 10 in both free sessions. However, while his teammate crashed in Q2, Alonso managed to get the car into seventh on Saturday. At the start he gained two places and was fifth at the start, but had to succumb to the better pace of Mercedes and Ferrari to settle for sixth. And not only that, he returned to leave one more genius allowing Lando Norris to approach him to wear out his tires and accumulated a new record, the driver with the most completed laps in the history of F1.
- Alonso at the 2022 Hungarian GP. Friday saw Alpine in the top 10, but left many doubts for a Saturday when rain was expected. That’s how FP3 went, but qualifying was dry and there Alonso surprised with a great lap in Q2. In Q3 he couldn’t beat Ocon, but he did manage to get into the first three rows to start 6th. In the race, he was once again at odds with his teammate, and although Alpine failed in strategy by mounting hard tires on him, he saved the top 10 with an eighth place.
After the Hungarian GP, Alpine believed that the renewal of Alonso was very close, something that he hoped to do in a few days. However, on the first day of vacation the bombshell news broke that Alonso had signed for Aston Martin for 2023 on a multi-year contract.
The team principal revealed that Alonso had hinted to him that he would renew and that he only found out about the news from the Aston Martin press release. Now there are nine races left in which the team and driver already know that they will not continue together. How will it come out?
In detail, the numbers of Fernando Alonso’s 2022 season in Formula 1 so far
|F1 2022||Great prizes||
|Dropouts||at the points||