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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Alonso: I need to improve myself more than Alpine car

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The two-time champion is returning to F1 this year after two seasons away, and was battling for points at the Bahrain Grand Prix before he had to retire because of brake problems.

But as he bids to get himself back up to speed, Alonso admits that there is much more to come from him than there is a need for Alpine to lift the performance of its A521.

Speaking ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where his team is planning to unleash a set of upgrades, Alonso said there were still clear areas where he could do better.

“I’m happy with the team and the upgrades here, I think they will bring some performance to the car,” he said.

“And we will check where are the areas in Imola that we have to improve and, at the same time, I need to improve myself more than the car probably, at the moment.

“In Bahrain, I felt that I needed to speed up in things, in procedures: on the formation lap, the first lap, the pitstops. There were things that, you know, they were new to me in a way after three years.

“But with that weight out of the shoulders after the first race, and the stress of doing it for the first time, again, I hope I can perform better myself here.”

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Alpine has admitted that there are some weaknesses with its new car, but Alonso felt that the team still did not fully understand where it stacked up against the opposition.

“Even if the 2021 season is a continuation of the 2020 regulations, I think we saw many teams doing substantial changes to the cars,” he said.

“I think it was the same for Alpine as well, and we still need to understand a couple of areas of the car that are giving different results depending on the configuration that we are running.

“We need to extract a little bit more performance out of the car, and hopefully from the next coming races and new updates that we will bring to the car we can exploit a little bit more the potential.

“But the midfield is very close. We saw in Bahrain and all last year as well, three or four tenths can make you fight for sixth to seventh or 14th to 15th. We want to be as high as possible in that midfield group.”

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