Fernando Alonso says he is still blending in at Alpine and should have performed better at Imola last weekend, but the Spaniard insists he’ll be “at the right level” next time out in Portimão.
Alonso concluded his second race with Alpine P11, one spot behind his teammate Esteban Ocon, but inherited P10 and his first point with the Enstone squad after Kimi Raikkonen was hit with a 30-second penalty.
Alonso admitted to still adapting to his new environment and to Alpine’s A521, but the two-time world champion isn’t inclined to use that argument as an excuse as he recognizes the need to improve his level of performance.
“It cannot be an excuse to say that, it’s quite obvious that every lap we do as drivers we feel more comfortable,” he said.
“But this cannot be an excuse to say 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 next time.
“I’ve changed teams many times. I’ve even changed categories and different series in motorsport many times. There is always a period of adaptation.
“There has never been an excuse and it’s not going to be an excuse now.
“I should be better. I was not at the right level this weekend, but I will be in Portimao.”
Alonso was outpaced on Sunday by Ocon, but the 39-year-old F1 returnee was unconcerned by the Frenchman having the upper hand on race day at this stage of the season.
“I was expecting exactly what we are finding now,” he said. “I finished right behind Esteban today.
“I was in front of him when I retired the car in Bahrain, with a guy that is performing very well and was two years in the team. He finished in the podium last year in Bahrain.
“It was my second qualifying here and it is my first race, here, because in Bahrain I only did 30 laps and I’m more or less where I expected it to be.”
Read also: Alonso unsure he’ll return to Indy to pursue Triple Crown
Alonso acknowledged that building his confidence is a process that will take time.
“We always want to be higher up and you want to be a little bit more confident in the car,” he said.
“Probably I was not confident in Bahrain or confident here. I will not be confident in Portimao. This is not a thing that it goes from day to night and then you are 100 percent. It will take time.
“But I’m here to work and I’m here to get better. And a race like [this] it helps massively because you can feel the car in very difficult conditions and you can learn a lot more than just a normal race.”
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