Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft

Alpine Formula 1 executive director Marcin Budkowski says the Enstone team has been "blown away" by Fernando Alonso's race craft across the first half of the 2021 season.

Alpine F1 team "blown away" by Alonso's race craft

Alonso made headlines when he produced a tenacious drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix, crucially holding off Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for several laps while teammate Esteban Ocon secured his maiden victory.

But Budapest wasn't the first time 40-year-old Alonso left his Enstone team stunned by his race craft and his ability to read races from the cockpit, the double world champion often being aware of the full picture as much as his team on the pitwall.

"I've worked with a number of drivers a bit more than 20 years in F1 and he is extremely impressive," Budkowski said.

"He's impressive in his approach, which is very, very professional.

"The other thing that blows me away is his race craft. And I think we've seen it in the [Silverstone] sprint race, we've seen it in Baku, they were great opportunities to see that.

"What Fernando did in Silverstone was effectively forming a DRS train behind him, because he wasn't afraid of [Lance] Stroll but he was afraid of [Pierre] Gasly and therefore he eliminated any possible attack from Gasly by putting him in Stroll's DRS.

"For me it's mind blowing almost because we're sat on the pit wall, we have all the data, we have full visibility on the race.

"He is in the car driving at full speed and he has almost the same analysis of the race that we have on the pit wall with nowhere near as much data and an ability to take a step back.

"That's I think the thing that impresses me the most in Fernando. I guess it's 20 years of experience driving Formula 1 cars but not many drivers, even with 20 years experience, will be capable of that."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Photo by: FIA Pool

Alonso claimed that his two decades of experience in F1 has only made him a better driver, suggesting he would now beat his 23-year-old self "with one hand".

Budkowski has also noticed Alonso is still as hungry and ambitious as ever, and believes the Spaniard will remain in F1 for years to come if Alpine manages to give him a fast car.

"How long [he'll go on], it's a question for Fernando, [but] he doesn't feel like an old man ready to retire," Budkowski explained.

"He's hungry, he's looking forward to next year. Every time he's in a factory he's asking how's next year car coming along.

Read Also:

"You can see that he's enjoying it, he's happy to be back in Formula 1 but obviously he's ambitious, like our ambition is to do better than we're doing now. That's what we're working hard on for next year and he's excited about that.

"If we give him a competitive car next year, I don't think he's going to go anywhere anytime soon, because he's going to want more and more of it."

shares
comments
Japanese F1 GP cancelled due to rising COVID cases
Previous article

Japanese F1 GP cancelled due to rising COVID cases

Next article

Sainz needs to pull a complete F1 weekend together - Binotto

Sainz needs to pull a complete F1 weekend together - Binotto
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023