Fernando Alonso has relished his return to F1 this year, having admitted that it has been his strongest season since 2014.
The Spaniard made his comeback to the sport with Alpine following a two-year hiatus and, after taking a little time to readjust, thinks that he grew in confidence as the season progressed.
"Well, I think at the beginning of the year, definitely things were not easy for us," Alonso told media including RacingNews365.com.
"In my case, getting back to the sport, I was not 100 percent ready and confident to push the car to the limit. It took a few races, until Baku probably.
"We made a few changes in the car, on the power steering, and the feeling with the front tyres was probably the thing that I was missing most so, yeah, I think we made a huge step forward on that confidence level."
"Super happy" to be back
Alonso has enjoyed every race weekend during the season, and the results have also been his strongest since his final year with Ferrari in 2014, which came before a difficult period with McLaren.
"The season overall has been fantastic for me," the two-time World Champion said.
"Honestly, [I've been] super happy to come back into Formula 1. I really enjoyed every single race, on-track but also off-track I was happy, and I enjoyed every second.
"This is my best season from 2014 [onwards], I think, in terms of points and positions, so definitely a good comeback, I think. And for sure, [I'm] more prepared for 2022."
Alonso finished the season in 10th place in the Drivers' standings with 81 points, seven points ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon in 11th.
The 40-year-old is contracted to remain with Alpine next season, but recently suggested that he could remain in F1 beyond 2022 if all goes well.
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