Fernando Alonso will be making his much-anticipated return to F1 at the 2021 season-opener later this month in Bahrain.
Alonso, who will return to the pinnacle of motorsport after a two-year hiatus, will partner Esteban Ocon at the newly rebranded Alpine F1 Team.
And, Alpine racing director Davide Brivio believes the Frenchman will have an “advantage” over Alonso this upcoming season
“We have a very interesting combination of drivers, I like it. The two left F1 and both came back,” Brivio said.
“Esteban has that year of an advantage with the team and the car, now we can see his real potential.
“With Fernando I see a fit driver, motivated. It is very positive for the team to have this type of driver who encourages everyone to give their best, because that is what he is going to give.
“That he returns to the most demanding races in the sport shows his motivation.
“Fernando will have good results and I expect the same from Esteban,” he added.
Alpine, which are effectively Renault’s F1 works team, will be hoping that they have more success under their new moniker than in recent seasons.
Commenting on their performance in pre-season testing, which took place in Bahrain and concluded on Sunday, Brivio said they did a “good job” but noted that it’s difficult to get a sense of the pecking order from testing alone.
“We are doing a good job in these three days, with more than 100 laps for each driver and fulfilling the plan without incident,” he said.
“On Fernando, I saw him at the height of pace and speed. He had to do some of the boring work, testing set-ups and set-ups, and we didn’t go for peak performance.
“It was a matter of getting back in the car and testing the options it offers to be prepared for the race.
“We are in the same situation as the rest. It is our responsibility to give them a good package, although in these three days it is difficult to analyse the level of the others, we will need a couple of races for that.
“Esteban and Fernando will have to take advantage of the maximum potential of the car.”