Alonso left with 'good taste' after third straight points score provides momentum heading to Canada
Things have turned around for Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. After four successive non-scores earlier this season, he’s managed to take three consecutive top-10 finishes, most recently on Sunday with P7 in Azerbaijan.
The two-time champion pitted to switch from medium tyres to hards on Lap 18 and continued until the end, running as high as fifth and working his way up from 15th to seventh by the chequered flag. He admitted he was given a boost by the retirements of both Ferraris and Yuki Tsunoda’s late reliability issue in the AlphaTauri, as Alonso recounted how he beat both McLarens at Baku.
“Yes, happy with P7. Obviously we benefitted from the retirements in front of us, the Ferraris and Tsunoda. But yes, these things happen here in Baku and we take these six points, which give us a good taste after seventh in Monaco, seventh here again. So let’s keep it going.
“And a lot of speed today on the straight, which helped also to keep the cars behind, so we knew that and I think we maximised our strengths today. Let’s see in Canada if we can find a bit more performance because with two or three-tenths I think we can make really a huge step forward.”
Esteban Ocon ran as high as seventh but lost places when his hard tyres began to drop off. He started the race on the hard compounds then pitted during the Lap 33 Virtual Safety Car to end the race on mediums, taking the last point in P10.
“I think it hasn’t been our weekend I would say. Not the best pace in the race, pretty slow; we were looking a bit more in the mirror than attacking in front. We scored with both cars, that’s the positive of course, but as I said, not the easiest race and I look forward to turning things around in Canada.”
The Frenchman pointed to race pace as his team’s weakness ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
“We were fast yesterday, we got the yellow flag so we could have qualified further up but that didn’t happen and from where we started, I was expecting to catch back in the race and that was not the case at all.
“We were struggling more in the race than qualifying and that’s where we need to analyse and come back better.”