Fernando Alonso debut with his Alpine: this was the long-awaited return that kept every motorsport passionate on tenterhooks for the past months. The two-time world champion, after 3 years away from Formula 1 is back with more energy than ever onboard his Alpine.
Place in Q3 conquered after his last one in Monaco, in 2018, and ninth place in the pocket for the oldest Formula 1 "rookie".
During the media session after the brilliant qualifying, he made some statements on the potential that Alpine will be able to show during this 2021 season, as soon as both drivers and cars will be able to become more familiar with the track.
“I am confident we can do a good season but it has to be race by race, I have to get better myself first of all,” the Spaniard said.
“Even today it was the very first time on these grippy tyres to extract the maximum from the car and I will need a couple of races probably to get up to speed"
“[It will] even [be] the same tomorrow, it will be the first time [doing the] formation lap, the traffic lights, the first corner action, it’s simple things for a racing driver but after two years it’s going to feel again like new, to do a pit stop under two seconds"
“All these things I will have to live it for the very first time again, and that’s something I will need a couple of races to get up to speed, so let’s see”.
He also commented on the speed that the single-seaters showed today and how he enjoyed and was curious about driving a Formula 1 car again:
“I really enjoyed it, I think these cars on low fuel and new tyres, they are really extreme in terms of performance,” he said.
“You have to really trust the car and believe that you can go that fast, and it was a very nice feeling, enjoyable feeling"
“The first qualifying of the year is a little bit of an unknown, how fast we are, so every time I came to the garage it was a moment of curiosity looking at the screen and seeing where you ended up, so it was a fun qualifying for sure” he concluded.