As he returns to F1 following an absence of two years, Fernando Alonso insists that he has “no clear goal” of what he desires to realize.
Earlier this week the Spaniard raised eyebrows when requested if he thinks he’s nearly as good because the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen, “I am higher,” he replied, the two-time champion eager to throw the gauntlet down as early as potential.
Nonetheless, talking to the media on Thursday, while enjoying down discuss his age – at 39 years 8 months he’s the second oldest driver on the grid – he was eager to clarify that he has not set himself a selected goal for his return.
“What I need to do is check myself and attempt to assist the group on this necessary second of this transition from Renault to Alpine, and this nice future I feel this group has for the subsequent coming years and the brand new set of rules,” he stated. “I am right here to assist the group with the expertise and the information that I’ll accumulate over time and attempt to construct a momentum into the group that may keep on from 2022 and into the longer term.
“All of us like to win,” he continued, “however there is just one that may do that each Sunday and on the finish of the 12 months just one can grow to be champion, in order that’s a really tough goal to set.
“I will likely be completely happy and I’ll take into account it a hit if we grew up collectively – the group and myself – within the subsequent coming years and we’re a contender sooner quite than later.”
With a nod to his feedback earlier within the week, Alonso admitted that he is probably not on the identical degree of efficiency as when he final raced in F1 in 2018.
“There are not any ensures,” he stated, “you simply have your personal confidence in making an attempt to ship what the group expects from you. There are not any ensures as I used to be in 2018 however I hope so.
“After I determined to return again I used to be making an attempt to focus into the preparation,” he continued, “not solely bodily but additionally technically being with a group for the second a part of the season and making an attempt to be up to the mark within the F1 language, which is a little more technical than another classes.
“It takes time,” he added, “and I am not 100% up to the mark but… it’s the identical for many individuals I suppose and for a lot of drivers who’ve modified groups and a few of them have to adapt a bit to the brand new aero rules, the tyres.
“You’ll at all times really feel extra comfy after 5, six or 4 races so for me it’s no completely different. I am completely happy the place we are actually however I feel in a pair races I’ll really feel extra comfy even within the cockpit and the seat we’re nonetheless make small modifications, higher place, they’re the issues that we have to maintain adjusting.”
Referring to his age, he stated: “You are attempting to make your journey as enjoyable as potential and as pleasing as potential. On the identical time you’re working laborious to ship the outcomes and to get these goals that you’ve in your head.
“It is no completely different for me, making an attempt to make this comeback a superb shot at making an attempt to win races or making an attempt to be as aggressive as potential however not with a transparent goal or a transparent time set on issues.
“To this point I am having fun with it and I do know the repeated query is my age and my comeback however I am a little bit bit stunned as a result of I am not that outdated… the world champion who’s dominating the game is 35 or 36 and it isn’t like I’m 20 years older or one thing like that.”
Take a look at our Thursday gallery from Bahrain, right here.