Formula 1

Fernando Alonso: “I’m looking forward to going back to Bahrain”

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Credit: Steven Tee/McLaren

Fernando Alonso is hopeful that his McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team can solve its reliability issues ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, after the Spaniard missed out on points last weekend in China due to a technical issue.

Alonso missed the 2016 race at the Bahrain International Circuit due to the injuries he suffered in his frightening crash with Esteban Gutierrez in the previous race in Australia, but is ready to return this year, especially as he is a three-time race winner there, winning for both Renault and Ferrari.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Bahrain, especially as I missed last year’s race – I have good memories from my three victories there, and racing in twilight is always a fun experience,” said Alonso.

“The Bahrain Grand Prix is always a pretty long race, so our first priority is to ensure we have reliability against the heat and harsh conditions of the desert before we can start thinking about performance.”

Alonso feels the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend was much better than he had expected heading into the race, and was inside the top ten when his car failed on him late in the day, meaning the Spaniard has yet to see the chequered flag this season.

“On the performance side, before retiring the car in Shanghai I was running in a very promising position, and our pace was much stronger than anticipated, so I’ll be pleased if we can have some more good surprises in Bahrain!” said Alonso.

“It will be another challenging race for us; the long straights don’t make it easy and there’s a lot for the engineers to work on. Brake wear and fuel consumption is high, and set-up is tricky as the track temperatures change a lot during the weekend, as we race later into the evening compared to the usual schedule.

“I’m pushing hard to get the absolute maximum out of our package every time I leave the garage, and in Bahrain I’ll approach the weekend in exactly the same way.”

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