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Alonso optimistic on Alpine podium chances

Alpine are yet to record a top-three finish in the 2022 F1 season and sit tied with McLaren in the Constructor Standings

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Ahead of the 2022 French Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso has said he’s confident Alpine will earn a podium in the second half of the 2022 F1 season.

It took the Enstone team a while to reach the rostrum after Renault‘s return to F1 in 2016, but they’ve had an upturn in form more recently, with five top-three finishes since 2020.

Despite being the fourth-fastest team this season they’ve been unable to challenge for the podium places race-to-race, and are currently tied for fourth in the Constructor’s Championship.

“I’m feeling positive,” Alonso told the press. “The second part of the season is quite optimistic from our point of view in terms of performance and if we deliver some clean weekends we’ll see more points again.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during 2022 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

“Obviously we need some help from the top 3 teams in front of us but we always see one or two retirements from them.

“We saw in Austria, Checo had a problem, Carlos had a problem so there’s always that possibility available and we saw in Silverstone the last few laps, anything in front of you the podium’s just there.”

Runaway frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari have 11 retirements this season meaning there have been podium spots have been available, but Mercedes have been the main beneficiaries of that, earning four third-places in the last four races.

Alpine‘s rivals McLaren are the only other team to raise a trophy this season.

Alpine still improving

Though Alpine will hope for a strong showing in front of their home crowd, they could leave France in fifth place in the 2022 Constructor Standings.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during 2022 Canadian Grand Prix practice REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

McLaren had one of their best weekends of 2021 at the circuit with Daniel Ricciardo leading home a double top-six finish.

Alpine have looked stronger over the season and been unlucky not to have pulled clear in fourth, although McLaren are very much a team of two halves, with Lando Norris accounting for nearly 80 percent of his team’s haul so far.

“It’s going to be interesting, I think we’ve been generally a little bit faster than them this year but they’re very strong on Sundays,” Alonso added.

“They always deliver the maximum available and Lando is scoring points every weekend so we just need to outscore them with two cars if possible and yeah it’s going to be a nice fight but I feel optimistic that we are faster than them.”

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