Alpine frustrated by small reward from strong race in Turkey

Alpine was left frustrated by the return of a single point from the Turkish Grand Prix after the car showed so much potential, admits executive director Marcin Budkowski.

Fernando Alonso qualified sixth and started a season-best fifth in Istanbul, but was tapped into a spin by Pierre Gasly at Turn 1 and then hit Mick Schumacher when trying to recover, limiting him to a race outside of the points. Esteban Ocon made it to the end of the race without stopping to pick up the final point in 10th place, but given the pace the car had shown throughout the weekend Budkowski said the team had expected much more.

“It was really good (pace), it was encouraging,” Budkowski said. “Fernando is really good in these kinds of conditions. I think we could and should have put both cars into Q3, if not for Esteban’s traffic issues in Q3. In these conditions we seem to have performed reasonably well. It’s a circuit that would suit us. I think Austin should as well.

“It’s frustrating to qualify so well and to have such a good pace on Friday and Saturday and only end up with one point and lose ground to our competitors.”

While Alpine salvaged a point with Ocon’s bold strategy, it was Alonso who looked well-placed to score heavily before the race and Budkowski believes the Spaniard should have been fighting for his first podium since his comeback.

“It’s super frustrating because starting P5 on the grid and looking where Gasly finishes even with his penalty, this is where we should have been. This was Fernando’s competitiveness level, not only P5 but only a few tenths off (Max) Verstappen and ahead of (Sergio) Perez. He should have been in that mix.

“He gets pushed off by Gasly and the stewards judged that, that Gasly had enough space to move to the left, which he didn’t do. That’s racing. He got penalized but it didn’t save Fernando’s race. Then he gets tangled in another incident with Mick, therefore which he gets penalized, and from there his race was pretty much over.”