Alonso feels F1 come back goes “better than expected,” reveals biggest struggle with Alpine

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – JUNE 03: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Alpine F1 Team walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 03, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso is delighted with his race performance, but thinks that he still needs to make improvements in qualifying.

The 2-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso has had 5 race weekends with Alpine since his return to the sport, so he had time to evaluate his result. The Spaniard thinks that he does well in races, but still has to improve in qualifying sessions.

“I’m happy with Sundays, not happy with Saturdays. Obviously, there are a couple of things we need to keep working on, especially with tire preparation. It’s hard to switch on the tires, especially on Saturdays,” he said.

“On Sundays I’m more or less happy with the performance with the races. I’ve been in the points two times, and the three times I wasn’t in the points, we’ve finished a few tenths off the points because we were in that group in the last couple of cars between 10th and 13th.”

The Alpine driver is overall happy with how things are going so far in his comeback season and is not concerned with the problems that he is now facing.

“I think it’s a matter of time. [We’re putting] things in the right place and in that aspect, I’m not too worried in terms of performance. And in terms of happiness, or how I feel coming back, it’s better than expected, honestly,” Alonso commented.

“I’m enjoying so much every weekend, enjoying driving so much and even the weekends when we don’t have racing, I miss the Grand Prix. So now that we have three races, France and two Austrias, I will enjoy because I like the back-to-back.”

In the end, Alonso believes that the two seasons without Formula 1 have helped him feel mentally ready again.

“The two years out of the sport was needed for me after 18 seasons in Formula 1 non-stop. The full dedication, it was too demanding at one point. And I had in my head other challenges, with Le Mans, with Daytona, with the World Endurance Championship etcetera.”

“I had to do those in a way and tick those boxes to be happy and to be free to come back and enjoy. I was not doing those challenges, and I felt that I was losing time in F1 some of the last seasons before ’18. So once those challenges were completed, I’m freer in a way to enjoy every weekend here.”

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