Like teammate Esteban Ocon, Alonso was one of a handful of drivers who were put on a one-stop strategy.

The Spaniard was running as high as ninth but dropped back as his tyres degraded, ultimately being forced into a second late pit stop.

Alonso relinquished a spot in the top ten when he was overtaken by Pierre Gasly, who managed to get ahead after the two-time champion’s tangle with Lance Stroll.

The incident with Stroll was reported to the stewards but both drivers were cleared of any wrongdoing.

While Alonso labelled the strategy by Alpine as “very optimistic”, he said he’d rather see risks be taken than opting for a conservative approach.

“I couldn’t drive!” Alonso said after the race in Barcelona. “I think we were in a very optimistic strategy with one-stop and I knew that [the drivers behind] were coming, I tried to hold five or six cars behind me for a couple of laps but it was not enough.

“But I would rather prefer to risk that strategy and try to take that point than sit there behind and not scoring. We were brave today, maybe too brave. I think there is some work to do in the race pace and the tyre management but happy in general with the weekend.”

Teammate Ocon fared better than Alonso but his one-stop strategy meant he fell to ninth, nearly losing tenth to Gasly on the final lap after losing 20 seconds to the Frenchman in the closing six laps.

Alonso was still encouraged by Alpine’s pace at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya despite classifying 17th at the end of the race.

“We didn’t know if [the performance at Portimao] was track-specific or a real improvement on the car and here we confirmed that we are going in the right direction,” Alonso added. “There’s still some work to go in terms of different driving style, different way of trying to set up for me in the car… I have some homework for sure.

“I think we felt more competitive here and it’s good. We want more, we will not stop here and hopefully more to come at Monaco.”

 

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