Alonso back in a ‘very competitive state’

Date published: June 9 2021

Fernando Alonso

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski believes Fernando Alonso returned to competitive form at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

After inserting themselves in the battle at the front of the midfield in recent rounds, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was slightly more tricky for Alpine with only Alonso making it through to Q3.

The race did not bring a change of fortunes initially as Esteban Ocon retired due to a “boost pressure loss” in the very early stages.

It did not seem like Alonso would bring home a large haul of points either – until a late standing restart completely changed the race.

The race was red-flagged when Max Verstappen’s left rear tyre failed down the main straight and from 10th on the restart grid, Alonso went on a charge in the final couple of laps, making his way up to P6 at the chequered flag.

And with that, Budkowski saw Alonso had returned to a “very competitive state”, having struggled for form since his return to Formula 1.

“The race didn’t start well with Esteban having to stop with a power-unit problem and Fernando’s race pace was not competitive, for which we need to understand the reasons,” he told the Alpine website.

“Overall, it wasn’t a great afternoon but we can be glad the two drivers who had issues [Verstappen and Lance Stroll] were fine and it did give us some exciting action after the restart.

“The heart-warming positive was some Fernando magic to regain four positions and finish P6, which is a great reward for everyone’s hard work. He’s back in a very competitive state and we now need to work together to get back on form at the next race in France.”

Fernando Alonso Alpine

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Alpine head into their home race P7 in the Constructors’ Championship. Aston Martin and AlphaTauri ahead remain very much in sight though.

Aston Martin hold a 12-point advantage over Alpine, with AlphaTauri then only a further two points up the order.

Ahead of this trio though, Ferrari and McLaren are very much starting to pull away, with Ferrari boasting 94 points and McLaren 92 to Alpine’s 25 heading into the French Grand Prix.

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