Alonso: Lack of trend makes finding race pace answer hard

Fernando Alonso says the lack of a clear trend about Alpine's race pace struggles means he cannot be sure yet if the Formula 1 team has got on top of its issues.

Alonso: Lack of trend makes finding race pace answer hard

The French car manufacturer has been open that key to scoring more points this year is getting a better understanding of why its A521 car is quicker over a single lap in qualifying than it is in a race.

Alonso says the team has some ideas about what could be causing the problems with its tyre management, but is aware the situation is complicated by the team having had some especially strong Sundays too.

"We do have some theories, and we investigate obviously after every race what is happening," he said. "But there is not a clear trend for when we had good performance.

"For example, in Portimao, in the race, we had less degradation than the others. We had a very good speed and we were overtaking people in the last couple of laps, like crazy. So, it is nothing that it will tell us one way or the other [what is happening].

"Every weekend seems to change, so it's a little bit unknown for the race. But Friday here [in France] looking okay, so let's see what we can do."

Alonso has qualified ninth for the French GP and is hoping to add to his points tally after his sixth place in the most recent race in Baku.

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However, he thinks Alpine has to be realistic about its overall speed at the moment, as he thinks it is not fast enough to think it can make major moves forward.

"I think big points is going to be a challenge," he said. "I think we have very competitive people around us: the two McLarens, the two Ferraris, and [Pierre] Gasly.

"And obviously there are people who are starting from P 11 with a free choice of tyre. So we have to be realistic. Optimistic? Yes. But realistic as well about the chances to score big points. I think it's going to be few points available but in a normal race not so many."

He added: "We know that there are a couple of teams, cars and drivers that are stronger than us in one lap pace and in the race as well. Ferrari, they were in pole position in the last two races, and now they're starting just in front of us.

"Are we thinking to beat them? Hopefully. But they were in pole positions in the last two races, so I don't know if we are exactly in the same league, at the moment. Let's see what we can do."

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