Fernando Alonso believes it was only a “matter of time” before he found his feet at Alpine after a slow start on his return to Formula 1.
The two-time world champion scored just five points in his opening five races of the season, before securing a season-best sixth-place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
While the result will have been a welcome one for Alonso, he acknowledged that the street circuits in Monaco and Baku were not an ideal fit for Alpine, who he felt suffered more than their rivals on the low grips surfaces.
“In Monaco and in Baku we lost a little bit,” said Alonso. “It was worse in Monaco while in Baku we were closer, but I think we need to come back to Barcelona and Portimao form.
“We have some hopes from France, that we can come back to those kind of performances. On the street circuits, the tyre preparation is helping somehow our opponents in a way to raise their performance.
“They are fighting for pole position now, but we don’t believe that is the improvement of the car: it is just how they switch the tyres on for a street circuit.
“But there are no more street circuits after this. Even Singapore is gone. So maybe we come back to more normal performance.”
Alonso received some criticism for his less than stellar start to the season, but the Spaniard has remained confident throughout that he would find his best form in time.
Addressing the comments he had seen in the media, Alonso said that his results perhaps painted a worse picture of what was going on than what was happening in reality.
“I was not too unhappy in some of the other races that, from the general opinion, were very bad,” he added.
“I don’t think that they were that bad. In Barcelona, obviously, we were on one stop, and we didn’t perform there. But we were more or less at the same pace as Esteban, in Monaco, and I think I finished two seconds behind him.
“This thing kept repeating every weekend, and the opinion was like I was struggling a lot, even comparing me with other drivers that changed team this year, like Daniel or whatever.
“But I didn’t think that was fair, because I think there is a very big difference on their struggles compared to what was I was having. I was not worried. I knew it was just a matter of time.”