Fernando Alonso hopes that Alpine can challenge for top 10 finishes in 2021, but admitted it is tough to make predictions about the “very tight” midfield.
The Spaniard returns to Formula 1 this season after two years away for his third spell with the Enstone-based team, who rebranded as Alpine over the off-season.
The team ended the 2020 campaign fifth in the constructors’ championship but showed clear signs of improvement, securing three podiums and a best points total since Alonso won the world title in 2006.
The 39-year-old was recently discharged from hospital following a cycling accident but is expected to be fit for pre-season testing, the event he is waiting for before making any predictions.
“I didn’t start thinking about that yet – I think we are too early into preparations,” Alonso told the Official Formula 1 Magazine. “Maybe after the winter test you can imagine or dream about the first race and where you can be.
“Right now, I didn’t have any thoughts about that.
“Realistically, we have to have our feet on the ground knowing that even if there are some changes for this year, they are not dramatic, so performance will not be too different compared to last year.
“I think Mercedes will be in front of everybody, then there will be Red Bull and there will be a close fight between a few teams. Alpine will be within that group of teams and that will be interesting to see who adapts better to the new regulations. I think it will be very tight, so we could be fighting for sixth or seventh on the grid or it could be 15th very easily. Our job is to be at least fighting for the top 10.”