Alonso learning in adversity
Double world champion relishing mid-field scrap
Fernando Alonso believes a season of toil with Renault could actually turn him into a better driver.
The Spaniard is back with the Regie after a one-season stint with McLaren and has, thus far, found himself in mid-field obscurity during the opening three grand prix.
Alonso won the world title for Renault in 2005 and 2006, but the latest car from the French manufacturer is well off pacesetters Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber.
"This year has so far been frustrating, but in a way it is a new challenge and I need to learn from it," he said.
"Right now we're always in the middle of the group, starting in 10th or 11th position which is very difficult, fighting, overtaking.
"So I need to learn from it, and then by the end of the year I will be a better driver."
Of his 10th-place finish in Bahrain last weekend, he added: "I was expecting a bad race, and it was a very bad race.
"It was very, very difficult, but then we knew it would be like that because all weekend was very bad, other than getting into Q3 which was a nice surprise.
"But the rest of it was not good enough, not up to our levels, and we were struggling and behind all the teams we are fighting with - Red Bull and Toyota.
"We cannot be happy with the result, and now we are in a pessimistic situation because these first few races have not been as good as expected.
"I'm not saying we were aiming for a podium or anything like that, but we didn't think trying to get into the points would be so difficult.
"In Bahrain we were around 12 or 13th position throughout practice and qualifying, so we need to make a bigger step."