Ahead of his first season back in F1, Fernando Alonso says he and Alpine will try to maximise their potential and “put on a show”.
2021 will be the first time Alonso has been a part of the Formula 1 grid since he left McLaren at the end of 2018.
His new team, Alpine, enjoyed a largely successful pre-season testing, encountering no reliability problems and completing a total of 396 laps, the fourth most of any team.
Their pace was not quite as impressive though, with Alonso’s fastest lap over the course of the three days only being the 11th quickest time.
He says the data gathered at the team base in Enstone suggests they have more pace and the aim is to find it on-track.
“We had a good testing session,” he told sport.es.
“We are focused on our work programme and you don’t give so much importance to the times or to the rivals. We still need to work, to understand some things about the car.
“The performance we see at Enstone needs to be unlocked on track. We will try to put on a show. Little by little.”
When Alonso left the grid in 2018, it is fair to say he had fallen out of love with the sport after a number of difficult and ultimately disappointing seasons driving for McLaren.
He enjoyed much more success in the World Endurance Championship while also trying his hand at various other categories.
Even so, he says he missed F1 during his time away.
“I’m very happy to be back in the paddock and in F1 in general,” the Spaniard said.
“These two years out of the championship I have not been on the couch but quite busy with other disciplines, so I had missed it in a marginal way.
“But it’s been nice to get back to driving such sophisticated cars with so much technology, and of course to think about the excitement of the starts, the strategy, the tyres…all those variables this sport has.”
He returns with the hope of finally becoming a triple World Champion, but that is highly unlikely to be possible in 2021 and it is unclear whether it will be beyond that.
For the time being though, he is just looking to enjoy himself.
“I’m happy and I’m looking forward to the first races,” he concluded.
“I’m coming with a very relaxed set-up, looking forward to enjoying every moment. I’m ready for the action, the excitement of the first corners.”