WATCH: Fernando Alonso Stuns Sainz With Sensational Bahrain GP F1 Qualifying

Published 03/28/2021, 3:15 AM EDT
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 12: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Alpine F1 Team looks on from the grid during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Even though Fernando Alonso hasn’t stepped in an F1 car in two years, he hasn’t forgotten his way around the track. His performance in the days leading up to the season-opener Bahrain GP impressed many, including Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz. Alonso’s fellow Spaniard was fascinated by how well the former did during the qualifying sessions in Bahrain.

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In the final practice session on Saturday, Alonso put in 15 laps around the circuit which saw him 15th on the timesheet. Many were worried about how the Spaniard would do in the qualifying session later in the day.

Much to his fans’ relief, the two-time world champion qualified ninth for the race on Sunday, while Sainz is just a position ahead of him. Meanwhile, Alonso’s teammate, Esteban Ocon will start 16th on the grid.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso arrives ahead of testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Fernando Alonso is praised by his Spanish colleague

During the interviews post the qualifying session, Ferrari’s Sainz told Alonso how impressed he was with his session, especially since the latter had been out of F1 the last two years.

While Alonso was giving an interview and, Sainz met him and said, “It went well, right? You b*****d! You gave a good classification. To have been unemployed for two years.”

Alonso felt a lack of confidence in the rear of the car but was satisfied with his qualifying session, he told Sky Sports F1 as quoted by PlanetF1. “I’m satisfied because I didn’t expect [it] probably. The weekend has been difficult. I lacked confidence a little bit with the rear end of the car, braking performance was very different from the test.

“Obviously it’s the first qualifying of the year so you never know what to expect and I’m happy with ninth,” Alonso concluded.

Alpine’s racing director Davide Brivio was impressed by Alonso’s motivation

The Spanish driver came in to fill in the seat for Daniel Ricciardo, who was bound for McLaren. Davide Brivio, Alpine’s racing director, revealed that he was impressed by Alonso’s dedication to return to a sport as demanding as F1 despite his age.

He said, [Fernando] is really pushing and I think it’s very positive for the team to have this type of driver that tends to stimulate everybody, push everybody to give the maximum.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“The fact he’s coming back in the most demanding class of motorsports. It shows also how strongly he is motivated to be back in action and to do great.” Brivio concluded.

Alonso returns to the French-based team where he won both his world champions. He begins his third stint with them on the opening race of the season in Bahrain. Will Alonso surprise everyone despite being away from the grid for two years? Let us know in the comments below.

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‘Ferrari is Not Winning’: Fernando Alonso Has No Regrets Over His 2014 Exit

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Arpit Gomes

322 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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