Fernando Alonso said it is “a little bit odd” that he is one of the most experienced members of the whole Alpine team staff, after Renault CEO Luca de Meo had dubbed the two-time World Champion as the “godfather of everybody” at the French outfit.
De Meo said that Alonso has a different role at the team than the one he fulfilled for Renault 15 years ago, as one of the senior members of the team and guiding the direction of the constructor moving forward.
With De Meo asking Alonso to use all his experience to help lead Alpine on the track, the Spaniard says it is a new dynamic for him to get used to this season.
“I think he meant that from everybody in the team, one of the most experienced guys is the driver now, which is a little bit odd,” Alonso said of De Meo’s comments in a TV interview with Channel 4.
“Normally you come into Formula 1 and we have a lot of experienced members in the team that are telling you the old races and the anecdotes and curiosities of Imola, curiosities of another circuit.
“And I’m probably the guy that is telling the team those things, it’s the driver that is telling these things now and that is a little bit strange at the moment.”
Alonso is now back at Enstone for a third spell in his career, having won his two titles with the team in their days as Renault. Having taken his two-year sabbatical from the sport to try his hand at different categories, he feels fit and ready to be competitive again.
He’s pragmatic about the team’s chances of success during his tenure as a driver, however.
While he’s confident that Alpine can become a major contender in the future and he’s enjoying himself in the team, he’s unsure about how long that process may take.
He added: “I enjoy it. I think the team is fresh, motivated and has some potential to become a champion team in the future.
“I’m sure of that, I don’t know if it’s going to take two years, five or seven, but we are in a nice project and I’m enjoying it.”