Fernando Alonso believes that the Alpine F1 team is the best in today's midfield, despite having a slower car than its rivals.
After 14 races in 2021, the team has amassed 95 points in total with a high proportion from Esteban Ocon's win at the Hungarian Grand Prix. It puts them into fifth place in the constructors championship ahead of AlphaTauri, Aston Martin and Williams.
But that's only half the points of McLaren and Ferrari who are fighting it over third place, with Mercedes and Red Bull even further away at the top.
"I think we're good, we are good on every front," Alonso insisted this week. "We are delivering the job, as I said, on Sundays.
"We don't have maybe the car to compete in pure performance with AlphaTauri or with Aston Martin," he accepted. "But we have the team to compete [against] them on Sundays, and to score points.
"We will try to fight for this fifth place in the constructors' championship until the end if possible," he added. "So in that respect, I think we are okay on the race team."
Alonso said that it was one of Alpine's key strengths to be able to consistently keep scoring points each weekend.
"We don't have probably the fastest car on the midfield. But we seem to have probably the best team on the midfield, so that's allowed us to score points every Sunday."
Alonso was particularly delighted that both he and Ocon came away from the Italian Grand Prix with points, despite the expectation going in that Monza wouldn't be Alpine's type of circuit.
"We saw in this triple-header that we are up and down in the level of competitiveness and on the grid," he said.
"In Spa we were okay on the dry [but] we were not okay with the wet. Zandvoort we were okay all weekend. Here we weren't, so I think it's track dependence.
"Monza was already in the calendar as one of the worst [for us], we knew that," he admitted. In the end Alonso crossed the line in eighth and Ocon was tenth while their nearest rivals failed to score.
"I think there's gonna be ups and downs for everybody," he predicted when asked about Alpine's prospects for the remaining eight races of the season.
"I don't know exactly in Russia, Turkey and Austin how it's going to be. I think it will be better."