Prior to the Qatar Grand Prix, Alpine and AlphaTauri were tied in points in the Constructors’ Championship. Both teams showed good things in qualifying by reaching Q3 with both cars. Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso were allowed to start from second and third place on Sunday, and that’s where the difference was made. Gasly and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda dropped out of the points throughout the race, while Alonso and Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon finished third and fifth in the first F1 race at Losail.
The 25 points scored in Qatar give Alpine an equally big lead over AlphaTauri in the championship, while only races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are still on the schedule. So things are looking good for Alonso’s team, but the Spaniard knows the job is not done yet. “We did not expect this. We honestly thought of a little difference between us here, in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. But this 25-point margin makes it a little easier for us,” said Alonso. “But we can’t relax. Everything is still possible in the next two events, so we have to stay sharp and hopefully we can get even more points for the championship.”
F1 will remain in the Middle East for the final two races of 2021, entering new territory once: the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is on the calendar for the first time. In addition, the Yas Marina Circuit has been slightly modified and made faster, so that Alonso cannot say with certainty whether the circuits are favorable for Alpine. “I think it will depend on the layout and the characteristics of the circuits. With what we’ve seen of Saudi in the videos, it could be a good fit for our package. In Abu Dhabi, that may be a little less true, although the new corners may change a bit what we feel there. I don’t know, but I feel positive. What I’ve seen of the car this weekend makes me pretty positive for the next two races.”