Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were encouraged that Alpine in Portugal could fight Ferrari and McLaren, which was not possible in the first two races, and Alonso says this was the first race of the season in which he could press hard on his car.
Alonso opened the season with Q3 by placing and giving up in Bahrain and he was disappointed in Imola after he lacked confidence in the car in cold and slippery conditions even though he won one point after Raikkonen’s disqualification.
The Spaniard was fast in training in Portugal, but had the worst performance all weekend in qualifying and qualified only 13th, seven places behind teammate Ocon, while in the race he drove great and broke through to eighth place.
"It was a very good weekend," Alonso said. "The car was good and we took a big step forward, fighting teams like Ferrari and McLaren in the race which is the opposite of where we were in Bahrain and Imola."
"This was the first racing weekend in which I felt comfortable in the car and which I could press hard. Well done to the whole team, I think the progress we have made is very good. ” "I think it could have been even better if we had a better starting position.
Saturday's performance will be crucial for the next two races in Barcelona and Monaco, so I have to focus on getting the top speed in one lap next weekend. "
Ocon is happy
Ocon had great qualifiers and beat Norris and Leclerc in faster cars, and in the race, he won six points for seventh place and beat teammate Alonso, Ricciardo in McLaren, and Gasly in AlphaTauri.
“I’m very happy with the race and I think we achieved the maximum,” Ocon said. “Both cars in points show our progress and it was a really strong weekend for us. Everyone on the team contributed to that, and the fight with Ferraris and McLaren showed how much we have improved our car.
” "We want to continue this series and win more points. We know that the next race will be different, but we aim to continue to progress and maintain this level of speed. ” And indeed, if Alonso and Ocon continue like this, they could achieve good results this season, probably which no one expected. It looks like the race in Portugal could be a turning point for their team