Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso marked his Formula One comeback at Bahrain Grand Prix, but the Spaniard’s return did not go as it was intended to.
The back-to-back world champion of 2005 and 2006, returned with debutant Alpine F1 Team and the Bahrain GP marked his first Formula One race since 2018 when he had switched to IndyCar, Le Mans, and other motorsport classes.
Unfortunately, Bahrain GP turned out dreadful for Alonso, as a brake failure of his Alpine A521 caused him to retire at the 32nd lap, spoiling the veteran driver’s much-awaited comeback to F1.
Post-race interview revealed that plastic debris had made its way into the brake duct of Alonso’s car, and despite starting the race at P9 and enjoying some tussle with former rival Sebastian Vettel as well as Carlos Sainz, he retired halfway through the race from P16.
Alonso felt slow at times in Bahrain GP
Before F1 heads to Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on 18th April, both the car and the driver have been undergoing their own set of improvements to land a better performance, but for Alonso, his own betterment comes before that of his vehicle.
“I’m happy with the team and the upgrades here, I think they will bring some performance to the car,” Alsondo said in the pre-Emilia Romagna Grand Prix press conference, “and we will check where are the areas in Imola that we have to improve and, at the same time, I need to improve myself more than the car probably, at the moment.”
The Spanish motorsport icon, who is considered to be one of the greatest F1 drivers in history, admitted that in Bahrain he was feeling not up to the mark at times, and after a break of 3 years from F1, Alonso felt like he was learning some of the stuff from scratch.
“In Bahrain, I felt that I needed to speed up in things, in procedures: on the formation lap, the first lap, the pitstops,” the 39-year-old went on, “there were things that, you know, they were new to me in a way after three years.“
However, regaining his composure after Bahrain GP, Alonso feels less weight on his shoulder not that he’s re-acquainted with the F1 environment and aims to display a better result on Sunday.
“But with that weight out of the shoulders after the first race, and the stress of doing it for the first time, again, I hope I can perform better myself here.” added Alonso.