Formula 1: Fernando Alonso eyes Barcelona gains after impressive Portugal

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Fernando Alonso is hoping to keep making progress with his Alpine team this weekend as Formula 1 heads to Catalonia for round four of the 2021 season.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya normally kicks off the European stint in the sport but, owing to a still slightly jumbled calendar thanks to the pandemic, we've already had two races on the continent.

Indeed, in Imola we saw Alonso out-qualified by team-mate Esteban Ocon and then again in Portugal but on both occasions the Spaniard has still finished inside the points.

Certainly, the final laps in Portimao last Sunday were the best indicator yet that the two-time world champion hasn't lost any of his racing guile as he made up places in the closing stages, as he quietened down some early question marks in the process over his performances compared to Ocon.

Such remarks, of course, were perhaps premature given he's just returned to the sport but expectation is always high around the Spaniard and he'll be all too aware of that.

Building on last Sunday is the plan this weekend, then, and Alonso is hopeful of another points-paying place being secured come the chequered flag at a track that he knows incredibly well:

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"I am excited to be back racing in Spain.

"It’s always special racing in your home country and I have good memories here in Barcelona.

"It’s a circuit all of us drivers know well, as we normally do our pre-season test here as well as racing the Grand Prix during the season. It’s a challenging circuit with a lot of high-speed corners.

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"The race is also back to back with Portugal, so it’s nice to keep the momentum going. It’s traditionally quite a difficult circuit to overtake on, so qualifying will be very important.

"We’ll see where we are during the weekend and target a positive weekend with some more points on the board."

Alonso is a driver of supreme talent and as he continues to get to grips with his Alpine car we should only see further progress.

The blue-clad machines looked a bit off of it in the really early stages of the year but Portugal offered some big positives to work with ahead of this weekend.

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