Alpine Sporting Director Notices Positive Change in Fernando Alonso Upon 2021 F1 Return

Published 07/01/2021, 4:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso walks the track ahead of Steiermark Grand Prix REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


There was a time when Fernando Alonso was not easy to please, with the Spaniard constantly targeting McLaren and Honda for their lack of on-track pace. He even blasted the engine suppliers for their ‘GP2 engines’ and never really took the blame upon himself.

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However, that doesn’t seem to be the case right now. Alonso is certainly looking comfortable since his return to F1. Interestingly, despite a bumpy start to his campaign with Alpine, he hasn’t necessarily taken shots at the French outfit, rather taking the blame upon himself, reckoning he needs improvement.

Alpine’s sporting director, Alan Permane, seemed to have noticed this particular change of character in Alonso. The Briton reckoned he is very pleased with the fact that Alonso is no longer blaming the team or the car.

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What did the Alpine sporting director say?

As reported by Marca, Alan opened up about how Alonso responded during the press meets amidst his tough start to the 2021 season.

I think the process is like anything in Formula 1, there is no magic formula. It is hard work and he works hard. He worked hard in preseason,” Permane said.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso walks the circuit with his team ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

He got off to a bit of a rough start, sure, with some problems. But instead of showing tantrums or getting pissed off or something like that, he looked at himself.

Not once did he blame the car or the team. He always said, ‘It’s me who needs to improve. I need to do this. I need to be better.’ He said it at the factory and he also said it in the press,” Permane added.

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Fernando Alonso vs Esteban Ocon so far

Of course, it was a rather scrappy start to Alonso’s 2021 outing, constantly being outperformed by his teammate, Esteban Ocon. What’s more, he only managed to secure five points out of the first five race weekends as opposed to Ocon’s 12.

But then arrived the turnaround for the two-time world champion. While the French lad has failed to add to his account since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, there is Alonso, who has garnered a handy 12 points from the last three races. Consequently, he guided himself up to P11 on the driver’s standings.

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 7, 2021 Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Albert Gea

Such has been the form of Alonso for a while now. And Alpine’s pace suggests that there is more to come from the Spaniard.

So, will Alonso manage to secure a top-six finish on the drivers’ standings by the end of this season, and embrace a flourishing start to his F1 return?

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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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