Alonso doubts Williams will now be a regular threat to Alpine

Fernando Alonso doubts that Williams will now become a regular threat to Alpine in Formula 1 despite his battles with George Russell over the two Austria race weekends.

Alonso doubts Williams will now be a regular threat to Alpine

Williams enjoyed its strongest performances of the season in the Styrian and Austrian grands prix at the Red Bull Ring as Russell fought for points in both races.

Russell was running eighth in the first race weekend, and was catching Alpine driver Alonso for seventh towards the end of the first stint before a power unit issue forced him to retire.

Alonso enjoyed a spirited wheel-to-wheel battle with Russell one week later in Austria, catching the Williams for 10th in the closing stages before completing a late overtake. It took Alonso a number of laps to pass Russell as the Williams FW43B proved a decent match for the Alpine car.

But Alonso did not believe that Williams would now act as a regular threat to Alpine despite its impressive display in Austria, noting it often fared well at the Spielberg track.

“No, I don’t think so,” Alonso said after the race in Austria when asked if he was worried the gap to Williams would now be smaller.

“I think they have made a step forward, but also we checked last year in Austria, they started 11th, so it seems to be a circuit they perform really well at.

“So I think we need to wait a couple of races to see if they are fast or not. But here last weekend, they were closer to us, and this weekend, we had a little bit more margin.

“I’m happy with the progress in these two weeks. It is up to us to keep it going into Silverstone.

“If we can repeat this kind of performance, it will put us in top seven or top eight, and that is a step forward for sure.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Alonso’s run to 10th place in the second Austria race continued his impressive recent form that has seen him score points in each of the last five grands prix.

PLUS: Why the F1 title-winning Alonso is back, both on and off-track

The form serves as proof of the improvements the two-time F1 world champion has made since returning to the series after two years away at the start of the year.

But Alonso was reluctant to set any firm targets for either himself or Alpine through the rest of the season, saying the focus was chiefly on laying the foundations for the new regulations in 2022.

“The second part of the year is a wait in terms of performance for 2022,” Alonso said.

“A lot of teams will put all their effort into 2022 cars, so what we get and what we see every weekend is going to be not too different in the next race.

“There are no clear targets in terms of championship points or constructors’ championship. It seems we are settled at the moment. We will fight with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin for fifth place for sure.

Read Also:

“But I think it is more building the team structure, fine tuning on the pitstops, on the strategy, on the tyre management, and many things that we can do to be as prepared as possible for 2022.

“On the car side, it is up to the factories to produce the best package, but here trackside, we need to optimise everything and be as close to perfection as possible.”

shares
comments

Related video

How F1's biggest 2021 update shows Aston Martin's ambition
Previous article

How F1's biggest 2021 update shows Aston Martin's ambition

Next article

Flat Chat Podcast: Looking ahead to F1 coming home

Flat Chat Podcast: Looking ahead to F1 coming home
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022