The Alpine team had showed promise throughout the weekend, but Alonso didn’t quite deliver on this in qualifying where he took 13th position. Following this disappointment, the Spaniard decided to channel his frustration into race day.
This paid off as Alonso finished in eighth place, only one second behind his teammate Esteban Ocon.
“I was upset after yesterday’s qualifying,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1. “So today that anger was probably on track as well.”
Alonso agreed with former F1 driver Nico Rosberg’s comments that he was like a “gladiator” in the Grand Prix, with the race being the first of the season where the two-times world champion has started to feel really comfortable with the car.
“I think [in] Bahrain I was more careful on everything just to complete the first Grand Prix,” Alonso explained. “Imola, I was so uncomfortable in the car with the conditions.
“I didn’t feel good on the inters, the visibility. The qualifying was bad, so I think this is really the first race that I was extracting the maximum from the car.”
Despite Alpine’s improvement in form at the Algarve International Circuit, Alonso knows that he still has work to do in the coming races in Spain and Monaco.
“In Imola and Bahrain, we were in a different group of cars in the fight. Here we were with the Ferraris, with the McLarens, the AlphaTauris, so we would love to keep doing this.
“In Barcelona [and] Monaco, Saturdays are very important because you cannot overtake, so I still have some homework to do.”
Alonso has previously won at both tracks during his extensive Formula 1 career. 2021 marks his 18th season in the sport following a two-year hiatus.