Points the ‘minimum requirement’ for Alpine

Fernando Alonso

Alpine Formula 1 boss Otmar Szafnauer has stated that he expects both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon to finish in the points at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The Anglo-French squad has thus far failed to capitalise on the potential of the A522 with the team just sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Its best result came courtesy of Ocon in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he finished sixth, a race which saw Alonso retire with technical issues.

The Spaniard then had further drama during qualifying in Australia while on course for a strong lap and reliability was again a concern at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

From 10 starts in 2022 the team has just five points finishes between its drivers, while on track the car has shown flashes of far greater potential.

“Firstly, the aim is for us to have both cars inside the points, which we’re yet to achieve since the first race of the season,” said Szafnauer.

“If we’re going to achieve our goals for the year, then this is the minimum requirement [for] the remaining grands prix.

“We’ve demonstrated consistently we have a competitive car and it’s important now that we convert that promising pace into points on Sundays.

“We’re certainly aiming to bounce back from Miami by having a much better, and cleaner, race weekend.

“We can only control what is in front of us, so that’s the target in Barcelona and both drivers are ready to deliver.”

Key to this weekend’s result will be qualifying, with Alonso suggesting that while the new generation of cars makes following easier, it will remain difficult at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“The track is not easy to overtake on and so you have to qualify well,” said the two-time world champion.

“Unless there is a Safety Car or something unusual in the race then it’s difficult to gain ground.

“We’ve been qualifying quite well this year so hopefully we can continue the form from previous Saturdays into Barcelona and have a trouble-free race.”

Free Practice 1 for the Spanish Grand Prix begins at 22:00 AEST on Friday.

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