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Alpine believe win or podium could be possible in 2022

Fernando Alonso secured a front row grid slot for the Canadian Grand Prix, but slipped back to seventh in the race itself, which later became ninth after a five-second time penalty. However, Alpine are feeling positive about their prospects after the weekend.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer thinks that the team could potentially achieve a win or a podium in 2022. Fernando Alonso impressed in Saturday's qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix when he secured P2, his best grid position since 2012. However, he slipped backwards in Sunday's race after experiencing an issue with his car. This was then compounded by a Safety Car period in the latter stages of the race, and Alonso eventually finished in P7, behind teammate Esteban Ocon. His result later changed to P9 following a five-second time penalty for unnecessary weaving. Despite all of this, Szafnauer believes that Alonso would have had a better end position were it not for the Safety Car. "[He was] great," Szafnauer told the F1 Nation podcast of Alonso's weekend in Montreal. "[He] put it on the front row, [and] was running pretty strong at the beginning. [He] had some issues with the car and, unfortunately, dropped back into seventh. "But even with the car issues, had we not had the Safety Car, at the end, he would have finished a position or two higher."

How Alonso's experience paid off in tricky conditions

Alonso set his qualifying time in mixed conditions, with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve being affected by rain on Saturday. Szafnauer has praised the two-time World Champion for being "brilliant" at handling this, and also suggested that Alonso's edge over Ocon during much of the weekend was down to his level of experience. "It was [a] large [gap between them] at the end, but not every lap," Szafnauer commented. "Esteban was making inroads, he was getting closer and closer. But you have to remember, in changeable conditions, Fernando is on it very quickly. "He gets up to speed much quicker than most drivers do. I think he's always had it. He's always been on it very quickly, and experience helps too."

What can Alpine achieve from here?

When asked about what Alpine's objectives are following a strong showing in Canada, Szafnauer explained: "I think we have to be realistic, and if we do a good job from now until the end of the season, finishing a solid fourth would be good." Szafnauer also acknowledges that an even higher race result could be possible, but only in the right circumstances. "If we get the rub of the green, a win and a podium is possible," he added. "But I think, looking at trying to overtake the third-placed team with the amount of races that are left and the points that are available, will be difficult. "But every once in a while, a podium and a win, that could be possible."

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