Fernando Alonso believes he has finally found the confidence in his car that has left him feeling “more a racer” again on his return season in F1.
Former world champion Alonso admitted to being race rusty when he returned from a two-year sabbatical with Alpine earlier this year.
But after a stunning start to the British Grand Prix weekend with his attacking display in the sprint race, Alonso then finished seventh in the main event to suggest he has now blown away the cobwebs.
“I am feeling better, I am feeling more a racer now,” said Alonso. “The first couple of weekends it was everything starting from zero, trying not to make mistakes, now I have more confidence in the car so I can use my instinct a little bit more.
“We never have an easy race, we are always in different battles at different times of the race, but I think a strong weekend, we have been in the points for the last four or five races.
“Our best before was Baku P6 but it was a strange race so P7 is probably our strongest weekend on race pace. Happy for that, it was a difficult race for tyre management and we managed quite well and delivered with the result.”
Ocon happy to “have found the pace back”
Alonso’s team-mate Esteban Ocon had suffered a dip in form before Silverstone, leading to a change of chassis going into the event to try to rectify the problem.
After scoring points in four of the first five races, Ocon’s slump saw him suffer two retirements and two 14th-place finishes before ending his drought with ninth on Sunday to give Alpine its first double-points finish since the third race of the season.
Relieved to be back inside the top 10, Ocon said: “It was a good and positive weekend. With the new format, we made the most out of it. It wasn’t the best Sunday but we have to take the positives out of the weekend.
“The car is back to form, we can extract the most out of it. I don’t think it has been the chassis only. There have been a lot more things going on in the background we have changed and it is good news we have found the pace back.”