Alonso doubts Williams will now be a regular F1 threat to Alpine

Fernando Alonso doubts that Williams will now become a regular threat to Alpine in Formula 1 despite his battles with George Russell over the two Austria race weekends.

Alonso doubts Williams will now be a regular F1 threat to Alpine

Williams enjoyed its strongest performances of the season in the Styrian and Austrian grands prix at the Red Bull Ring as Russell fought for points in both races.

Russell was running eighth in the first race weekend, and was catching Alpine driver Alonso for seventh towards the end of the first stint before a power unit issue forced him to retire.

Alonso enjoyed a spirited wheel-to-wheel battle with Russell one week later in Austria, catching the Williams for 10th in the closing stages before completing a late overtake. It took Alonso a number of laps to pass Russell as the Williams FW43B proved a decent match for the Alpine car.

But Alonso did not believe that Williams would now act as a regular threat to Alpine despite its impressive display in Austria, noting it often fared well at the Spielberg track.

“No, I don’t think so,” Alonso said after the race in Austria when asked if he was worried the gap to Williams would now be smaller. “I think they have made a step forward, but also we checked last year in Austria, they started 11th, so it seems to be a circuit they perform really well at.

“So I think we need to wait a couple of races to see if they are fast or not. But here last weekend, they were closer to us, and this weekend, we had a little bit more margin. I’m happy with the progress in these two weeks. It is up to us to keep it going into Silverstone.

“If we can repeat this kind of performance, it will put us in top seven or top eight, and that is a step forward for sure.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alonso’s run to 10th place in the second Austria race continued his impressive recent form that has seen him score points in each of the last five grands prix.

The form serves as proof of the improvements the two-time world champion has made since returning to F1 after two years away at the start of the year.

But Alonso was reluctant to set any firm targets for either himself or Alpine through the rest of the season, saying the focus was chiefly on laying the foundations for the new regulations in 2022.

“The second part of the year is a wait in terms of performance for 2022,” Alonso said. “A lot of teams will put all their effort into 2022 cars, so what we get and what we see every weekend is going to be not too different in the next race.

“There are no clear targets in terms of championship points or constructors’ championship. It seems we are settled at the moment. We will fight with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin for fifth place for sure.

Read Also:

“But I think it is more building the team structure, making fine tunes on the pit stops, on the strategy, on the tyre management, and many things that the we can to be as prepared as possible for 2022.

“On the car side, it is up to the factories to produce the best package, but here trackside, we need to optimise everything and be as close to perfection as possible.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull not sacrificing 2022 F1 car with current upgrade push

Previous article

Red Bull not sacrificing 2022 F1 car with current upgrade push

Next article

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more

How to become a Strategy Engineer in F1 – Qualifications, skills & more
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021