Bahrain GP: Fernando Alonso ‘Enjoyed’ Battling Old F1 Rival Vettel

Published 03/29/2021, 4:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Fernando Alonso had a pretty mixed return to F1 after two years. Alonso made his comeback at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix and put in an impressive individual performance. However, his race was cut short due to a failure in his braking system, which laid to rest his hopes of finishing in the points on his first race back. Despite this, though, the two-time world champion preferred to look at the positives post the race and enjoyed his on-track battles.

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The Spaniard was very impressive in qualifying as he helped guide the car into Q3 and help them start P8 on the grid. He also had some nice moments in the race with him having enjoyable battles with personal rivals, like Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. However, some rogue debris on the track got lodged in his braking system which led to it overheating. This, in turn, ended his race prematurely.

Fernando Alonso had fun on return to F1

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In a post-race interview, Fernando Alonso was very happy with his personal race and reckoned he had a lot of fun on his return. He said, “We had some brake issues at the end that stopped us seeing the chequered flag. Apparently some debris came into the brake duct, which is a little bit unfortunate.

“But… I think the race was fun until that point. The start, the first couple of laps, some battles with my old colleagues, and I did enjoy it. But obviously, now you’re disappointed not to see the chequered flag.”

The Spaniard then reflected on where the team needs to improve. He said, “I think we still need to improve. I think it’s very close in the midfield; a couple of tenths changes a lot of positions, so we will have to fine-tune things and execute [well] to perfect every race.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“A small mistake can cost a lot of positions in qualifying and the race. So it’s going to be a very interesting season, I think, for you to watch.”

Will the midfield battle be the most interesting thing about 2021?

The midfield battle could very well be the only thing that could be interesting about 2021 if Lewis Hamilton continues to keep winning as he did in Bahrain. Mclaren and Ferrari have made very encouraging starts in their bid to be the best of the rest. However, both the rebranded Aston Martin and Alpine look to have taken a major step backward.

Alpine had to rely on Alonso’s innate wizardry to be in with a chance of finishing in the points, which were extinguished with his retirement. The AMR21 of Aston Martin, on the other hand, proved to be quite difficult to handle the whole weekend.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

AlphaTauri were rather unfortunate to have Gasly involved in an early incident that ended their hopes of high points finish. But they will be encouraged with the performance of their rookie Yuki Tsunoda on debut.

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The fortunes of these five teams could vary as the season draws on; that could be what makes 2021 worthwhile to watch.

Read More:- Fernando Alonso Confirms Alpine F1 Lacking a Fast Car Ahead of Bahrain GP

 

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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