The Baku Grand Prix gifted the F1 audience with some suprises, especially at the end, with Sergio Perez winning after Verstappen's tyre failure and Hamilton's big mistake at the restart, but a lot happened in the midfield as well, with Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly on podium, while Ferrari managed to clinche two consecutive pole positions with Charles Leclerc.
Fernando Alonso joins Max Verstappen, as they both believe the grid order will come back to normal from the next races.
The F1 calendar saw two consecutive street circuit races, Monaco and Baku, where Ferrari managed to behave really well, getting two poles and a podium in the Principality; Sebastian Vettel suprised everyone as well, as he was fifth in Monaco and got his first podium since Turkey 2020, also the first in Aston Martin history in F1. AlphaTauri looked very competitive as well, with Tsunoda in Q3 in Azerbaijan and Gasly on podium.
Alpine F1 did have some troubles on those circuits, despite that Alonso managed a great recovery in the two final laps in Baku, where he finished sixth. The Spaniard and two times world champion believes Alpine competitors were able to show more competitiveness thanks to a better tyre warm up, but things will come back to a more conventional order once F1 comes back to traditional circuits, just like Verstappen said about Mercedes.
“In Monaco and in Baku we lost a little bit [of performance] - admitted Alonso to Motorsport.com - 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 - he explained - 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 currently sits 12th in the standings and finished behind his team mate Esteban Ocon in the first races, but despite this he has one point more than the French man. A lot of criticisms came towards the Spaniard's performances, as insiders suggested he was "struggling more than expected", but Fernando clearly doesn't agree: “I was not too unhappy in some of the other races that, from the general opinion, were very bad,” he said. “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 [Ocon], 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 [Ricciardo] or whatever," he continued.
“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."