Alonso: ‘A little bit too optimistic’ to close Ferrari gap

Mark Scott
Fernando Alonso arrives at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Saudi Arabia, March 2022

Fernando Alonso arrives at the track for the practice session in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, March 2022.

Fernando Alonso is not particularly confident in being able to reel in early leaders Ferrari during the F1 2022 season.

Alonso’s former team are off to a marvellous start to the campaign, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the first three races of the season and sits 34 points clear at the top of the World Championship standings heading into round four at Imola.

Ferrari are also sitting pretty at the top of the Constructors’ Championship, too, opening up a 39-point gap to nearest rivals Mercedes whilst Red Bull struggle with reliability issues.

Alonso returned to Formula 1 with the new regulations luring him into dreaming that he can be fighting for race wins and World Championships again but, with just two points in his opening three races, that dream still feels far away from becoming a reality.

That being said, Alonso’s small points return so far does not tell the full picture given that a water pump issue ended his Saudi Arabian Grand Prix early and he had more of his fair share of bad luck in Australia, too, despite showing that he was more than a match for Mercedes throughout the weekend.

But it is Ferrari, not Mercedes, who are the new yardstick to measure against in this new era of Formula 1 racing, and Alonso thinks the gap is already too big to close this season.

“To match the Ferrari pace, I think it’s going to be difficult because obviously, we are eight-tenths, or one second behind at the moment, looking at the first two races in qualifying performance,” Alonso said in the FIA press conference at Albert Park.

“To close that gap, it will be a little bit too optimistic but let’s see.

“We need to keep working, and it’s so early days on these cars, that you may find something much bigger than what you thought at the beginning, when you test it on the wind tunnel, and maybe you make a huge step.”

Alpine head to Imola sitting P5 in the Constructors’ Championship, just two points behind McLaren in P4.

Alpine could find themselves in the mix

After an impressive Australia showing, Alpine could back that up again this weekend.