Fernando Alonso says Alpine has no 'budget excuses' heading into Formula 1's 2022 season and plans to challenge at the front of the grid.
Last season, in Alonso's comeback season, Alpine finished fifth in the constructors' championship, which included a shock win for Esteban Ocon at the Hungarian Grand Prix and a third-place podium for teammate Alonso at Qatar.
Alonso believes F1's cost cap will play a significant role in evening things up in F1 and making it more competitive.
Alonso told Motorsport.com: "I'm optimistic we have the right resources, we have the commitment from Luca de Meo, from Laurent Rossi, all our management they are committed to F1.
"The budget cap should help because there is no unlimited budget for the top teams. Now it's more or less the same budget for everybody, and it's up to us to make a good car. If we don't do it, we will learn from our mistakes. But there are no more 'we have less budget' or 'we have fewer resources' or 'they are using two wind tunnels'. There are not any more of those things. So, it's up to us."
Closing the gap
Alonso thinks Alpine is in "better shape" than 12 months ago.
Alonso said: "We are still not on top of all the problems, but everyone will have a different opinion. Obviously, with experience working for different teams, I could see some things that we were weak, other areas we were very strong. You always try to make the team stronger and stronger, and more prepared into 2022.
"I think we are in better shape now than what we were in March, in Bahrain, but still a few things I'm sure that we'll have to fix. "I think we need for sure to close the gap on the engine, that's why there is this new project, and also we need to close the gap on the aero performance.
"It's difficult to know what is the gap, so at the moment, there are only hopes, but I understand that these hopes are for everybody. It's not only to us, and it's a completely unknown territory what we will find [this] year."