Alonso: Formula 1 comeback more enjoyable than expected

Fernando Alonso has revealed he is enjoying his Formula 1 comeback more than he expected to and says he is missing racing on weekends where there is no grand prix.

Alonso: Formula 1 comeback more enjoyable than expected

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso returned to F1 for 2021 with Alpine after spending two seasons racing in sportscars and IndyCar - as well as contesting the Dakar Rally - as part of his push to emulate Graham Hill and complete motorsport's Triple Crown.

Alonso often spoke of his inability to find much enjoyment in F1 over his last couple of seasons on the grid as McLaren struggled for performance, leaving him unable to fight for podiums or wins.

While Alpine is currently fighting in F1's midfield, Alonso revealed on Thursday ahead of this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix that he is enjoying his comeback more than he expected.

"In terms of happiness or how I feel coming back, it's better than I expected, honestly," Alonso said.

"I'm enjoying every weekend so much, enjoying driving so much.

PLUS: How box office Alonso is still proving his star quality in F1

"Even the weekends where we don't have racing, I miss the grand prix.

"So now that we have three races, France and two [in] Austria, I will enjoy because I like the back-to-back."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Alonso has scored points in just two of his first five races this season, and has been beaten by team-mate Esteban Ocon in all four races both drivers have finished, as well as the last four qualifying sessions.

The Spanish driver has been open about his need to get back up to speed after two years away from F1, acclimatising to the Alpine A521 car.

Alonso felt his Sunday race performances were now at a level he was happy with, but recognised a need to get up to speed a bit more in qualifying sessions on Saturdays, citing tyre warm-up as being his current weak spot.

"There are a couple of things that we need to keep working on," Alonso said.

"One is the tyre preparation, how to switch on the tyre, especially on Saturdays. [For] Sundays, I'm more or less happy with the performance in these races.

"I've been in the points two times, but the three times we were not in the points, we finished a few tenths off the points, because we were in that group that were backing the last couple of cars between 10th and 13th or whatever.

"I'm happy with Sundays, not happy with Saturdays. The main limitation at the moment that I am finding is switching on the tyres. But I think it's a matter of time until we put things in the right place.

"In that aspect, I'm not too worried in terms of performance."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 teams scrambling for COVID vaccines before Dutch GP
Previous article

F1 teams scrambling for COVID vaccines before Dutch GP

Next article

Which tracks can hold an F1 race? FIA grades and requirements explained

Which tracks can hold an F1 race? FIA grades and requirements explained
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
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

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
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