Marcin Budkowski has praised Fernando Alonso’s 2021 performances, saying the Spaniard has been “magical” on several occasions.
After a relatively slow start to his first season back on the grid, Alonso has since found his feet and been one of the most impressive drivers on the grid.
In the last 10 races, the Alpine driver has only failed to score points once and finished in the top six in four of them.
Budkowski has been hugely impressed with his driver and thinks he has been “magical” at times.
“We are seeing a very exciting season, with different winners and many drivers on the podium,” said the Alpine executive director.
“We saw Esteban [Ocon] win his first race in Hungary and Fernando has had magical performances in several races.
“It’s a great moment for Formula 1 and we hope to stay competitive ahead of the new regulations in 2022.”
Next up is the Turkish Grand Prix, where the team then known as Renault showed strong one-lap pace last year, qualifying in P5 and P7, but dropped down to P10 and P11 on race day.
Nevertheless, Budkowski is still happy to return and given the track has been resurfaced for this year, he is expecting some changes.
“Istanbul Park is a great circuit for Formula 1 and we are happy to be back,” he added.
“Last year we qualified in the top seven but the race didn’t go as expected. The asphalt was also a headache for the teams.
“This year it will be interesting to see how everything changes.”
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) October 4, 2021
While Alonso has never tasted victory at Istanbul Park he has enjoyed a lot of success at the circuit, standing on the podium in four of the seven F1 races in which he has competed there.
The second of those came in his title-winning campaign in 2006, and holding off Michael Schumacher to claim P2 that day is one of his fondest memories of the track.
“I have some nice memories of the Turkish Grand Prix,” he said.
“It’s a circuit with a good mix of high-speed corners and overtaking opportunities. Turn 8 is a unique challenge and I look forward to tackling this corner in a modern-day Formula 1 car.
“I had a fun battle with Michael there in 2006. He was right behind my gearbox exiting the final corner on the last lap. That was just one of a number of on-track battles we had that season.
“It’s a circuit I enjoy racing at and I look forward to returning there again.”
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