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Alpine boss brushes off questions about Alonso's motivation

Otmar Szafnauer has given his take on Fernando Alonso's misfortune early in 2022, which has left the Spaniard with just two points after five races.

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has declared that Fernando Alonso is "absolutely fine" in terms of motivation after missing out on points again in Miami. Alonso started the season in the points with a ninth-place finish in Bahrain, but was unable to score across the following four races amid various issues. In Saudi Arabia, an engine issue forced him into retirement; in Australia, a hydraulics problem scuppered his qualifying session, before a badly-timed Safety Car in the race; while in Imola, Mick Schumacher ran into the side of his car on the first lap. Alonso's pointless run continued at the Miami Grand Prix, where he was impeded in qualifying and then picked up a pair of time penalties on race day for a collision with Pierre Gasly and leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Szafnauer not concerned about Alonso's motivation

With Alonso stuck on two points, 22 behind teammate Esteban Ocon, questions have been asked about his state of mind. But Szafnauer has pushed back on any suggestions that the Spaniard might be losing motivation in what is the final year of his current contract. "I think he's absolutely fine. He's still pushing for more, as Fernando does," Szafnauer told media, including RacingNews365.com . "He should have started higher up again. I think he just missed out on Q3 by a little bit and we had the pace of a [Valtteri] Bottas or a [Lewis] Hamilton in qualifying. "Once you start up there, it's a different race, so we need to put it all together for Fernando, and Esteban, for that matter. "We will do that in the near future and we'll score even more points."

"Better times to come" for Alonso and Alpine

Szafnauer is confident that, with cleaner weekends, Alonso and Ocon will be fighting towards the sharp end of the field. "It has been frustrating, but there'll be better times to come," he added, when asked how Alonso is dealing with the situation. "The good thing is the package underneath him is performing, so the rest of the stuff we can work on it and get right." Alpine hold sixth in the Constructors' standings, five points down on Alfa Romeo, having set themselves the target of retaining fifth in 2022.

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