Alonso: "Anger" over qualifying led to Portuguese GP charge

Fernando Alonso says his "anger" over struggling in qualifying led to his charge through the Formula 1 field at Portimao to finish eighth for Alpine.

Alonso: "Anger" over qualifying led to Portuguese GP charge

Alpine showed competitive pace throughout practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix, only for Alonso to slump to 13th in qualifying as team-mate Esteban Ocon took sixth place on the grid.

But the race saw Alonso battle his way up the order, making overtakes on Pierre Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr in the closing stages to cross the line in eighth, just one second behind Ocon.

It marked Alonso's first top-10 finish on track since returning to F1 at the start of the year, having inherited a point for P10 at Imola thanks to Kimi Raikkonen's post-race penalty.

Asked if the late charge through the field was a sign of the gladiatorial Alonso of old in F1, he replied: "I agree with that a little bit.

"I think in Bahrain, I was more careful on everything just to complete the first grand prix. At Imola I was so uncomfortable in the car with the conditions. I didn't feel good on the inters, the visibility. The qualifying was bad.

"So I think this is really the first race that I was extracting the maximum from the car. And yeah, I was upset after yesterday's qualifying. So today that anger was probably on track as well."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Alpine brought an updated floor for its A521 car to Portimao that allowed Ocon and Alonso to find more pace, as well as maximising the updates it previously debuted at Imola.

Read Also:

Alonso was encouraged that Alpine was able to fight with the upper-midfield runners such as Ferrari and McLaren in the race, but remained uncertain why his qualifying had been so poor.

"It was a good race, but generally it was a good weekend, not only the race," Alonso said.

"I felt the car was much more competitive here than in Imola and Bahrain. We were fighting with one McLaren, with one Ferrari, and AlphaTauri. Definitely we were in a group that we were not able to be in Imola or Bahrain, so that was a positive theme.

"We felt competitive already from FP1. We were fifth in FP2, we could have been third in FP3, so it remains a little bit of a mystery what happened yesterday in qualifying where I felt not comfortable.

"It was not the same grip as any other session, unfortunately, and that compromised a little bit my race.

"But yeah, overall I am very happy with the weekend in general, and just the performance of the car. I think it was a good Sunday for us as Alpine, the cars being competitive more than any other race so far this year."

shares
comments

Related video

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Previous article

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Next article

Autosport Podcast: Recapping the F1 Portuguese GP

Autosport Podcast: Recapping the F1 Portuguese GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Portuguese GP
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Luke Smith
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021