Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Monaco, 2021

Alpine’s poor pace is a “one-off” says Alonso after Q1 exit

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says he isn’t worried about Alpine’s poor pace at Monaco, despite having expected they would be more competitive this weekend.

The two-times world champion went out in Q1 while team mate Esteban Ocon only made it as far as Q2. The team are only quicker than Williams and Haas this weekend, and trail Alfa Romeo for the first time this year.

“Grip in general was the thing we missed,” explained Alonso. “It was not a problem on the balance or problem of anything wrong on the car. It was just the level of grip was very low in all the sessions for both cars.”

The performance comes following two relatively better weekends for the team. “In Portugal we were quite competitive,” said Alonso. “In Barcelona as well.

Alpine’s Monaco GP has been a disappointment so far
“We thought that Monaco [would be] a good weekend. But it was not good.”

He believes the root of the team’s problem lies in getting the most out of the tyres. “One of the biggest factors in terms of level of grip [is] switching on the tyres. It can make that big difference.

“Some teams were much more competitive here than any other race before, some other teams, they were very uncompetitive here compared to the previous weekends, like Alpine.”

However Alonso isn’t concerned this may signal the beginning of a downturn in performance for the team.

“I think it’s a one off,” he said. “I think it’s a very specific set-up for the circuit. It’s a very specific way to operate the car in this kind of circuit. Maybe Singapore is some kind of similar direction on the set-up, but completely different temperature normally there.

“So I don’t think that we should be too worried. We are working, we are trying to help the team as much as we can in preparation for for 2022 as well.

“We will not win the championship this year, that’s a guarantee. So meanwhile, we are making the team stronger and analysing all the areas that we have to improve. So weekends like this one will make us stronger as a team. We are understanding a lot of things from the difficulties, so I’m not worried.”

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Alpine’s poor pace is a “one-off” says Alonso after Q1 exit”

  1. FA seems to have a much more pragmatic approach to his racing since his return.

    While it is a useful trait in many people, I wonder if it is working for him? I predicted on here that he was going to absolutely destroy Ocon this year, but he’s doing a good job of proving me wrong.

    He seems to be dangerously close to just accepting things to be the way they are, and if that includes trailing Ocon then it’s game over IMHO.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      23rd May 2021, 9:29

      I’m not giving up yet on him but this is feeling very similar to Michael in 2011. I think it’s good he’s remaining calm and I think his focus is on next year to be honest. Also all new, returning and team transfer drivers are really struggling this year, the only exception being Carlos who seems to be getting there now but that’s been a struggle too. I mean wouldn’t write off Daniel for example and he’s the biggest shock.

      1. Schumacher was heavily criticized for his comeback, but people underestimate the effect of age related decline and many years out of the sport, alonso is in a better position, especially age-wise and still is coming up short of expectations from a prime alonso.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          23rd May 2021, 19:45

          Only 1/2 year difference in age between both respective comebacks but absolutely both cases due to Father Time. @esploratore

  2. I loved the moment when he says the car has not more pace than 17th, while exactly at the same time Ocon qualified 11th.

  3. @johnnik My thoughts exactly. I still expect him to be strong in 22 if that Alpine is good enough

  4. He messed up his weekend already. Lots of errors, outclassed by his young mediocre teammate.
    It is one year to many for ally.

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