The team struggled for most of the weekend to get its tyres to work.
Esteban Ocon started 11th and took advantage of two retirements ahead to salvage two points for ninth, while Fernando Alonso qualified only 17th, and moved up to 13th at the flag.
The result meant Alpine lose two places in the constructors’ championship to Aston Martin and AlphaTauri, both of whom scored well in Monaco.
“It could be worse,” Budkowski told Autosport. “Unfortunately, our competitors made the most of the race, and especially the ones that were behind us and that were scoring even bigger points because two of the leaders dropped out.
“So in the championship it’s painful. It was a bad weekend for us, honestly.
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
“We struggled from Thursday with pace and mostly tyre temperatures. And although we kind of recovered a bit with Esteban in qualifying, he managed to qualify in a decent position, the car wasn’t at that stage set up for tyres that were working.
“So overall, it’s a bit of a weekend to forget. However, there’s lots of learnings to get from it as well.”
Asked why Alonso appeared to suffer more, Budkowski said: “They were both struggling, on Thursday and Saturday morning. The difference was that Esteban managed to switch his tyres on in Q1, run two, and Fernando didn’t.
“Obviously not a good qualifying, but made a lot worse by the fact that the tyre didn’t switch on. I firmly that believe that had Fernando managed to switch on the tyres on his car as well, he would have been competitive.
“And to be honest, I think had we managed to get them to work earlier in the weekend, Esteban would have been in Q3.”
Budkowski insisted that Monaco wasn’t relevant to the bigger picture.
“I don’t believe that this is a weekend that is relevant to the progression we’ve shown in Portugal and Barcelona.
“So we need to make sure that we leave it behind, and we also get the learning from this weekend to make sure we progress and especially don’t get caught out in Baku again.
“It’s car, tyres, circuit and atmospheric conditions, they are the four variables to the equation. I believe it’s a glitch in our progression.”