Fernando Alonso Cites Ricciardo’s Early Renault Struggles After Ocon Drubbing

Published 04/18/2021, 5:18 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


So much so for the ‘teammate eater.’ Something happened during the qualifying at Imola that hasn’t happened since the Malaysian GP in 2017. It was the last time that a teammate of Fernando Alonso beat him over a one-lap pace. Esteban Ocon broke the four-year drought in a scintillating fashion.

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Alonso could only muster a 15th place on the grid on Saturday. In contrast, his teammate in the same Alpine car, Esteban Ocon, made it to Q3. What is even more surprising is the large 0.476 seconds gap between the two drivers.

“I’m not at this level yet. Already in the winter tests I said that after four or five races I would feel better,” Alonso pulled no punches.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

The Spaniard is his own harshest critic. However, there’s a reason as to why he is not at his peak level yet. No, not his age or the two-year-long sabbatical from F1 that he took. Rather the time it takes to get to grips with a new car; it is something that also hindered Daniel Ricciardo during his first year with Renault before he flourished last year.

“We saw that Carlos [Sainz] had problems at the beginning. We saw that Daniel had problems against Nico [Hulkenberg] in the first year and then in the second year delivered very well,” said Alone (Translated via Google Translate)

“I guess it’s going to be the same for me. I’ll feel more comfortable with every race. At the same time, it can’t be an excuse that I can use every Saturday when things don’t go so well.”

The focus is on ‘getting more performance’ for Fernando Alonso in the race

While qualifying may not be his strongest suit, Alonso excels on Sunday. There have been few better drivers in F1 history than the former Ferrari man, who could extract every bit of performance from the car in the race.

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“We have to be there and hopefully improve our pace, that is our top priority because if we are not faster tomorrow then it will be even more difficult to overtake. So we have to concentrate on getting more performance on mine Side – and then hope for help from the guys up front.”

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

While Imola has been traditionally tough for overtaking, he may count on some early retirements and the rain factor to maximize his race result. After all, he is due a slice of luck after his unfortunate DNF in Bahrain.

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DIVE DEEPER

Fernando Alonso vs Esteban Ocon: Which Alpine F1 Driver’s Likely to Emerge Ahead?

6 months ago

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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