“Need to improve myself more than the car”: Alonso admits feeling off the pace after re-entry

Fernando Alonso may be one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, but he believes he needs to look to improve his own performances before looking at deficiencies in the Alpine car.

After spending two years away from the sport, Alonso decided to restart his career with an opportunity at Alpine proving to be the best option available.

It is the same team that the Spaniard won two world championships with when they were earlier plying under the name of Renault.

Alonso believes he must look for improvement within himself before he seeks development in the car.

“I think in a way it is more grip and more power that you always need to improve the lap time, and it’s not different in our team,” Alonso said.

“Balance-wise the car was quite okay in Bahrain… every circuit will have different performance for different teams so we need to check how we look here and the next two-three GPs will be important to check all the windows of the car and different performance we may see from the midfield.”

“But, I’m happy with the team, updates here will bring some performance to the car and we will check where are the areas in Imola that we have to improve.

“At the same time I need to improve myself more than the car probably at the moment, because in Bahrain I felt that I needed to speed up in procedures – first lap, formation lap, pit stop – things that were new to me after three years.

“I guess with that weight off the shoulders after the first race and the first time again I hope I can perform better here.”

Alonso believes his experience in different series of motorsport will help him up his game.

“I think there are many things that you can learn from other experiences away from F1. F1 is a very closed environment and let’s say you repeat the same thing every two weeks and the same routine every two weeks.

“Your driving style it gets… in a way the same over the years and you just follow these instructions from your team so that you are optimising everything in the car and they are optimising as well your driving style.

“They tell you what to do, where to save the tyre, save the energy on the battery, where to perform the burnouts, how many to do before the start…”

“Everything is so controlled that you are not able to improvise many things on a Formula 1 weekend.

“I think in endurance racing you have to let’s say be yourself much more than any other race car, in a way you are fighting traffic in different places, on different laps, in different times of day, for every single lap.

“Or every time you jump in the car, you have to share more with your team mates, there is more team work in endurance racing than Formula 1. So there are things you are learning and taking that different approach for your future adventures in motorsport.

“It’s the same in IndyCar, the level of detail you have to reach in terms of set up, preparation for an Indy 500 race is much higher than any Formula 1 event.

“This is because the cars are the same and the small details can affect the driving style, the performance, the overtaking opportunities, how you have to anticipate some of the things that will happen in the next two-three laps…

“There are many lessons that you learn in different categories that I can apply hopefully in Formula 1 or the future.”

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