Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso has said that Alpine could be more competitive than they were in 2021, but says there are still improvements that are needed on the car ahead of the new campaign.
The French outfit has seen a lot of changes in terms of their top-level structure off of the track in the off-season and they will be keen to see that benefitting them when the first wheels are turned in testing in the next couple of months.
Certainly, the winter testing programme this year is likely to be about as fascinating as it’s ever been with the new rules coming in for 2022 and teams eager to see just how well they have interpreted them, and how they stack up to the rest of the pack.
It should make for an intriguing year, and Alpine will be hoping that they can be one of the sides that take advantage of the new rules, with Fernando Alonso and teammate Esteban Ocon obviously eager to build on their podium apiece they earned in 2021.
Alonso in particular is someone that fans will want to see back up near the sharp end after he showed he’s still very much got all of his race-craft at his disposal last season, but, of course, it all depends on how good the car can be in that respect.
So, what of the new Alpine? Alonso seems to be cautiously optimistic about it but is expecting that more improvements will be needed:
“We are still not on top of all the problems, but everyone will have a different opinion,” he said via The Independent.
“Obviously with experience working for different teams, I could see some things that we were weak, other areas we were very strong. You try always to make the team stronger and stronger, and more prepared into 2022.
“I think we are in better shape now than what we were in March, in Bahrain, but still a few things I’m sure that we’ll have to fix.
“I think we need for sure to close the gap on the engine, that’s why there is this new project, and also we need to close the gap on the aero performance.
“It’s difficult to know what is the gap, so at the moment there are only hopes but I understand that these hopes are for everybody. It’s not only to us, and it’s a completely unknown territory what we will find [this] year.”