Alonso expects progress, targets points with Alpine at 'very different' Imola

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Fernando Alonso eyes his first points with Alpine at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.

Despite missing last year's race, the double world champion is actually one of the most experienced drivers on the current grid around Imola, of course, famously holding off Michael Schumacher for victory in 2005.

And following his first race back following a two-year absence in Bahrain, Alonso is certainly feeling a bit more in the groove.

"It was really enjoyable. I have missed the feeling and adrenaline that comes with qualifying in Formula 1, it’s like no other competition," he said reflecting on the season-opener.

Also Read:

"We were very pleased to make it into Q3 on Saturday and I felt comfortable to push quite hard.

"The result in the race was obviously not as we expected, but we were very unlucky to retire the way we did and, of course, Esteban was unfortunate to start where he did.

"In saying all of this, we had some fun battles on the track, and I look forward to some more this weekend."

As Alonso noted, the race itself was a shocker for Alpine who failed to score, with the Spaniard retiring due to a sandwich wrapper that blocked his brake duct.

But at Imola, he is confident of making more progress.

"I think we have to fight to score our first points of the season on Sunday," Fernando stated. "Let’s hope all our bad luck for the season was used up in Bahrain!

"We’re still learning lots about the car and I’m expecting that the setup here and, of course, the weather will be very different to what we experienced in Bahrain.

"It should be pretty close and a few tenths of a second could make up a number of positions."

And after lagging behind the upper midfield in Bahrain, Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski is keen to see how competitive the team is away from the windy Middle East desert.

“It will be interesting to see how our car performs on a different circuit, having only been to Bahrain for testing and the first race so far this season,” he commented.

“It will also generate new data to help our development effort.

“We have an aerodynamic upgrade package coming to the car for this Grand Prix.

“In addition, we have some test items to assess during Friday practice, which will help define further upgrades planned over the next few races.”