The 2021 season is set to start in a just over a week, and the Bahrain GP will be the first F1 race for Davide Brivio as Alpine's Racing Director.
The Italian, who won with Suzuki the MotoGP championship title last year, has joined the rebranded French team after more than thirty years working with motorcycles, under Luca di Meo's insistence, having Renault's AD already worked together closely at Yamaha.
Last week Brivio had his first taste of the paddock at the three days Bahrein Testing, in which his drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso performed well, completing a total of 329 laps and focusing more on the race pace, rather than setting the fastest lap.
The Racing Director said he is "satisfied" with the performance of the team, as he stated to selected media: "They are doing a good job. We were able to go through the plan without any issue. Regarding Fernando, I saw him quite up to the pace."
There has been a lot of clamour upon the Spanish's return to the team he won two World Championships with after a two-years hyatus, spent mostly competing in the WEC, especially since he was involved in a cycling accident in Lugano last January. After undergoing jaw surgery, he was declared fit to race and showed up in perfect shape at the testing.
Brivio praised his work attitude: "[Fernando] is really pushing and I think it's very positive for the team to have this type of driver that tends to stimulate everybody, push everybody to give the maximum."
He also appreciated his dedication to Alpine, with Alonso having attended a number of race weekends in the past season: "The fact that he's coming back in the most demanding class of motorsports, it shows also how strongly he is motivated to be back in action and to do great."
Alonso will partner up with Esteban Ocon, at his second season with the French team. Ocon had a tumultuous 2020 season, scoring his first ever F1 podium in Bahrein, but ending the championship in 12th place, with significantly less points than his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Brivio thinks the pilots will hugely benefit each other:"I think it's a great combination where Fernando will be important also for Esteban, in order to show also how it can work maybe in a different way with an experienced driver, at the same time Esteban can help Fernando because he's becoming more and more competitive and I think it would be very competitive this year, so I like this combination and I'm really looking forward to seeing both in action."
Brivio was also asked about how Alpine will perform:"I think [Alonso and Ocon] can be up to speed from the first race, and ready to fight on the level of the other."Of course, it's our responsibility and our job to give them the good package. We have to see the race weekend, probably the first few races, but I think we will be ready."