‘Esteban’s car is always good’: Alpine boss responds to Fernando Alonso’s strange comment

Fernando Alonso has suffered several instances of bad luck so far this year, while Esteban Ocon has been much more fortunate.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has responded to double F1 champion Fernando Alonso’s recent comments about team-mate Esteban Ocon suffering fewer mechanical issues than him in 2022.

The Spaniard made the remarks after suffering an issue with his car’s electronic control unit at the Austrian Grand Prix and finishing in P10, while Ocon managed a P5 finish.

“Esteban’s car is always good,” the Spaniard said, implying that there might be something strange going on with regards to his lack of reliability this year.

Rossi, asked if he prefers a strong qualifier like Alonso or a “more reliable points-scorer in the form of Esteban Ocon,” stressed that he simply wants two drivers to consistently score points for the Renault-owned team.

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“The F1 fan loves the former, while the team boss tends to prefer the latter,” Rossi joked.

“What I want is for two drivers to bring home points in a regular and similar way.

“Lately, we’ve had a little trouble getting them into the points together and even when it was the case, there was often one of them ejected because of penalties. It’s been quite frustrating.”

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer, meanwhile, addressed Alonso’s poor luck thus far in 2022 and insisted they aren’t “failing” the two-time world champion.

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“It wasn’t an Alpine problem,” said Szafnauer.

“He has been happy with the car in several grands prix. The car has pace. It’s not that we are failing Fernando – there are several reasons why he hasn’t been scoring points.”

Commenting on how he has found working with Alonso, the Alpine team principal emphasised that it is his first season at the team and stressed the importance of having realistic expectations.

“It’s my first year working with Fernando and from what I see he still loves to compete,” he said.

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“In life, you are happy when you are above your expectations. If your expectations are realistic, you will end up happy. That goes not only for Fernando but all of us. But Fernando is still there.”

After 11 rounds of the 2022 season, Alpine are fifth in the Constructors’ Standings on 81 points – level with fourth-placed McLaren.

Alonso sits 10th in the Drivers’ Championship on 29 points, while Ocon is up in P8 on 52 points.