Alpine driver and 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso has been seemingly coming to grips with his car after a slow start to the season. With a strong qualifying performance Saturday, he started P9, while Esteban Ocon started P11.

Alonso’s first stint on the medium tires was not as strong as expected, however, the Spaniard improved once he got the hard compound fitted.

“If there had been a harder tire, it would have been better,” he said. “Let’s see when it touches C1, C2 and C3. We are more comfortable with the hard.

“We had graining very early, we stopped on lap 19 with a lot of graining, from 14 to 19 we were going very slowly. We started ninth, we finished eighth. We ran the race we wanted. Except for the graining, good Sunday. Four points and a good weekend in general.”

Alonso had a strong start to the race; however, he began losing places with the strong tire degradation the drivers faced. Alpine, similar to other teams, struggled to decide on when to have their first pit stop.

“When I stopped with the yellow [mediums], seeing that there were 34 laps to go, it seemed difficult, and we talked about that plan B,” Alonso added.

“There is a moment in the race, when there are 12 or 13 laps left, that it is no longer worth stopping. You have to take the decision around lap 45. We had a dialogue at the end and we saw that it was best to continue.” This split-second decision saw Alonso finishing at P8.

Alonso highlighted his start by saying they are ” the second or third best in starts.” He ended on a positive note by adding: “Points in Baku as in France and Q3 in both, I think I can go happy.”

Founder and CEO of ASN Motorsports. From Balcarce, Argentina - I love motorsports, especially Formula 1, and through ASN I share my passion with the world.