Alain Prost has described Fernando Alonso as a “perfectionist” who “will fight body and soul” for every World Championship point.
Alonso is getting into full stride in his first Formula 1 campaign since 2018 having taken two years out to compete in other motorsport disciplines.
The two-time former F1 World Champion is doing so with Alpine and showed he is no back-number with a typically feisty performance at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Although it ended in retirement after a sandwich wrapper had got stuck in a rear brake duct, Alonso had qualified ninth and was in the hunt to score points when his race was ended.
Prost, a four-time World Champion himself, now works as a special advisor to Alpine. He acknowledges Alonso’s reputation as a tough taskmaster but knows the 39-year-old will back up everything he squeezes out of the team by giving the very best of himself.
“A driver with such a personality automatically brings something,” said the 66-year-old Frenchman in an interview with Le Figaro and quoted by Le 10 Sport.
“Fernando is very demanding and a perfectionist. He asks a lot. It’s up to us to assume it.
“But he is also aware it is probably not this year that he will be able to win races on a regular basis. What is certain is that even the point for 10th place, he will fight body and soul to bring it back.”
Of course, Alpine are not a one-man team and their efforts to finish as high as possible in a close midfield battle in the Constructors’ World Championship will also hinge on the contribution of Esteban Ocon.
Apart from a shock second place at the Sakhir Grand Prix, the Frenchman was unspectacular in his first year with Alpine but Prost is clearly expecting more from him in 2021.
“We must not forget it is always the pair of drivers who make a team progress,” said the 66-year-old, whose self-named outfit, previously known as Ligier before his buyout, participated in F1 from 1997-2001.
“We also expect a lot from Esteban. He now knows the team. We changed things for him, especially his race engineer. Everything has been done to make it as comfortable as possible.”