Fernando Alonso has declared that he and Alpine are "ready" for the challenge of Formula 1's all-new technical regulations, which come into play in 2022.
Alonso returned to F1 in 2021 after a two-year break, reuniting with former team Renault under their new guise of Alpine – the French manufacturer's niche sports car brand.
Although the team maintained fifth in the standings, they claimed a breakthrough victory with Esteban Ocon in Hungary, before Alonso returned to the podium in Qatar, all while pressing on with 2022 development.
Heading into the new season, and the sport's new era, two-time World Champion Alonso is optimistic that Alpine are in a strong position to capitalise.
"2021 was a good season for us; Esteban won a race, I was back on the podium and it was a kind of continuation of the 2020 performance from Renault," said Alonso at the launch of Alpine's 2022 F1 car, the A522.
"It felt also [like] we made a lot of progress. I think the team is now stronger, compared to 12 months ago, and I think we are ready for the challenge of this year."
Why Alonso returned to Formula 1
F1's rules reset features a 'ground effect' aerodynamic concept, bigger wheels and a host of other technical changes.
Asked if the new rules are a 'game changer', Alonso said: "I hope so. I came back to the sport because of these regulations, so it has been one year and a half waiting for these cars!
"I think the team did an amazing job in the last year, building this car, so we are all very motivated."
Alonso expressed confidence that Alpine had "good development in place" with the A522, also pointing to a new engine, but admits only time will tell if the team can take a step forward.
"We won't know where everyone stands until [the first race in] Bahrain, but we're excited to take the car for its first spin in testing this week," he said.
"I hope the new regulations have worked and we get more exciting wheel-to-wheel racing this year."
Video: Alpine turn pink with their new F1 car!
Check out Alpine's new F1 challenger, the A522, which was presented to the world during a special launch ceremony.