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Alonso ‘felt 300 per cent more confident’ through race

Fernando Alonso says the chaotic nature of Formula 1’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix gave him almost five races worth of lessons in one afternoon as he increased his confidence with Alpine’s A521.

Alonso has returned to Formula 1 this season with Alpine after a two-year absence and has regularly conceded that he is still getting back up to speed in the championship.

Alonso qualified in 15th place at Imola, six spots behind team-mate Esteban Ocon, and had a scare en route to the grid when he slid off the track in wet conditions.

He was able to return to the pits for repairs and from his original grid spot raced to 11th position, which became 10th when Kimi Raikkonen was handed a hefty post-race penalty.

“From lap one to the end we changed conditions and grip level so many times during the race,” he said.

“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 takes four to five races and we compressed it into one race, a lot of activity.

“I’m happy with the learnings, happy to feel the car in wet conditions, obviously testing was one day and a half in Bahrain. It was first time in Inter [conditions], and with dry conditions with only one narrow line on the circuit.

“Feeling-wise, from lap one to lap 63 I felt 300 per cent better in a way of how confident I am in the car, but this cannot be an excuse to say that we didn’t perform well, or 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.”

Alonso nonetheless outlined that his current level of performance was to be expected following his two-year hiatus.

“I am more or less where I expected to be, but you always want to do more, and higher up, and be a little bit more confident in the car,” he said.

“Probably I was not confident in Bahrain or Imola, I will not be confident in Portimao, it is not a thing that goes from day to night and then you are 100 per cent. It will take time.

“But I am here to work and I am here to get better and a race like this, it helps massively as you can feel the car in very difficult conditions and can learn a lot more than just a normal race.”

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