Fernando Alonso on Alpine seeking 2022 gains: 'Nobody knows the target'

Fernando Alonso knows Alpine need to improve next season, but with the new regulations he says he is unable to quantify by how much.

Alpine, as well as under their former name Renault, have finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship for the last three seasons – and Alonso will be eager for a higher placing in 2022 to vindicate his return to F1 after two years away.

The team are pinning their hopes on the regulation changes to offer a greater chance to those that interpret them best and who create a car that puts them right on the pace.

Mercedes and Red Bull are in the strongest position to do that, based on how fast they were in 2021, and are likely to continue setting the “benchmark”, as Alonso puts it.

The Spaniard is aware of how much lap time Alpine would have needed to find if 2022 had been a continuation season but because it is not, he thinks it is much more difficult to judge.

“Nobody knows the target,” said Alonso, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

“In a normal winter, we would have said we had to find eight tenths. But we don’t know what the new benchmark is. Nobody knows. There is only hope that it will be enough.

“We have the right people, the necessary budget, sufficient resources and the backing from the boardroom. It is now up to us to make something of it. The time for excuses is over.”

Renault have built a completely new engine for 2022 that Alpine will have sole use of and while early indications about that are encouraging, the two-time former World Champion acknowledges that is not the only area in which the team need to find gains.

“The new engine was absolutely necessary,” said the 40-year-old. “But something has to come from the aerodynamics also. Otherwise we won’t be able to close the gap.

“Not all of the problems have been solved yet, but we are on a good path. With my experience, I have a good view of where we were good and where we were weak and I can help to eliminate the deficits.

“However, no matter how good we are operationally, we will need a fast car. That’s the question mark everyone is facing.”

 

Alonso said he will do everything he can to get himself in the best physical shape after last winter’s bicycle crash that required surgery on his jaw.

“At my age, you have to train more, do different exercises and eat more consciously than my young colleagues,” he said.

“But I promise I’ll be fit at the start of the season and if the car is too, I’m hopeful.”

 

 

 

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