Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has heavily suggested that the team will exercise the option to retain Fernando Alonso into next season.
The two-time world champion signed a one-plus-one deal upon his return to Formula 1 at the start of the season and has impressed thus far with Alpine.
Despite the Enstone outfit not having the most competitive machinery, Alonso sits 11th in the drivers’ championship having scored points at each of the last five races.
“He is doing great,” Rossi told BBC Sport. “He is as fast as ever.
“He is certainly extracting the most out of the car. The car is not incredibly fast and he still manages to get some super-hot laps and qualify the car very well. So far, so good.”
Asked whether Alonso would remain with the team beyond this season, Rossi replied: “He is doing everything for me to consider exercising this option.”
Esteban Ocon recently agreed to a new long-term deal with the team but has struggled since, while his 39-year-old teammate has come on strong after a slow start.
Alonso has a reputation for sometimes being difficult to work with, but Rossi has been nothing but impressed with his attitude and commitment.
“It is incredibly easy to work with him so far,” he added.
“It has been six months, and I don’t recognise the Fernando Alonso that people describe.
“We both expect the same thing from the team. Always challenging any decision, any status quo, to systematically take things a notch up: ‘It is never enough. Getting a point is not good. Getting two points is not good. Finishing second, when it happens, is not good enough. Finishing first – we need to keep being first.’ I like this attitude.
“It is challenging everyone all the time but very respectfully. And he can do it because he has proven himself so it is not like he wants to deflect responsibility.”