Fernando Alonso says he should be performing better than he currently is for Alpine’s Formula 1 team after struggling in changeable conditions at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Sunday’s race at Imola followed a heavy downpour that left the track very wet in places for the start, with Alonso sliding off at Tosa on his way to the grid and needing a new front wing. After a few other excursions on a drying track, Alonso was eventually classified 10th due to a penalty for Kimi Raikkonen, but even with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel also struggling relative to their teammates in Italy, Alonso says a driver of his experience should not be taking so long to get up to speed.
“I think each of us has a different story and a different theme or difficulty,” Alonso said. “I changed teams many times — I even changed categories or series many times — and there is always a period of adaptation. But it has been never an excuse, and it’s not been an excuse now. I should be better. I was not at the right level this weekend, but I will be in Portimao.”
On the plus side, Alonso says he feels much more confident with his Alpine as a result of the experience gained in changeable conditions at Imola, having been struggling on that front during the weekend.
“Probably tend to agree it looks like that. It cannot be an excuse to say that — it is quite obvious that every lap we do, these (new) drivers will feel more comfortable, and (Sunday) was one of those days where it triples the experience.
“From lap one to the end we change conditions and grip level so many times during the race — we had one red flag, one standing start, one rolling start. There were a lot of things to practice and a lot of things to go through that normally take 4-5 races and we compressed it into one race, a lot of activity.
“I’m happy with the learning, happy to feel the car in wet conditions. Obviously testing was one day and a half in Bahrain. It was the first time on intermediates, dry conditions with only one narrow line on the circuit.
“A lot of lessons to take, to analyze, and feeling-wise, from lap one to lap 63 I felt 300% better in how confident I am in the car. But this cannot be an excuse to say that I did not perform well. I have to be more prepared and more ready next time — it doesn’t matter if you have little time or no time in the car, I will try to be better on the next one.”