Alpine driver Fernando Alonso admits that his team lost too much compared to McLaren in the 2021 season, but is encouraged by the fact that the Enstone team has reduced the gap on the leading teams. Alpine, (then called Renault) and McLaren were involved in a tense battle for third place in the constructors ’championship for the 2020 season, a fight that included Racing Point and now Aston Martin.
While the Woking team continued its upward trajectory this year as well - where they are now battling a recovered Ferrari for third place, Alpine and Aston Martin have stagnated. After the shocking victory of Esteban Ocon in the last race of the first part of the season (Hungarian Grand Prix), Alpine jumped from seventh to fifth place in the constructors' championship, skipping Aston Martin and AlphaTauri.
Ocon’s triumph marked the first victory for the French engine manufacturer dating back to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix when they competed as the Lotus Renault, but in the current season, they generally lack speed and consistency compared to last year.
Alonso says Alpine was counting on Ferrari to return strong after a bad 2020 but admitted that his team lost too much to McLaren than they had hoped. "The expectations or our ambitions at the beginning of the year were to repeat what Renault was able to do last year," said the two-time world champion.
“Given that Ferrari had a very strange 2020 season with pretty low performance, we expected Ferrari to be ahead of us. But it is also true that we have lost too much compared to McLaren, "he added.
A good basis for Alpine is that they have reduced the gap behind the leading teams: Mercedes and Red Bull, and that the new regulations for 2022 will provide an opportunity for a significant step forward as Alpine will present its brand new engine after 2019.
"By looking at and analyzing all the numbers in some way, we have reduced the gap behind Mercedes and with some opponents," claims Alonso. "So, even if we are in seventh place in the constructors' championship, we have reduced the gap behind the leaders and so everything has become tight.
From ninth place to the top, everyone is close. " "The same thing happened with Aston Martin, Racing Point fought for the podium last year and even won one race, and this year we are closer to them." "So it was a little up and down for all the teams - for us too."
"Unfortunately, we lost several positions in the constructors' championship because the three teams that finished last year behind Renault are the three teams that have improved the most."