The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first for new look Alpine F1 Team and it was a disappointing one. The team left Bahrain with no points and an underwhelming performance.
Esteban Ocon’s weekend was not off to a good start when he was knocked out of Qualifying at Q1, with a starting position of sixteenth. From then onwards, the French driver wasn’t able to really charge the field and get himself into the top ten. Although, he did thrill the viewers with some exciting midfield wheel to wheel battles, he eventually crossed the finish line in thirteenth.
Ocon said “It wasn’t the result we wanted today, but there were certainly lots of positives. We were fighting for most of the race with a number of cars with fun, wheel to wheel battles. Even with Seb [Vettel] at the end, he locked up and went into me. He apologised, we all make mistakes, and that happens sometimes.
“We were just a little bit short overall today. Qualifying didn’t help us as it meant we always had places to gain. We showed our fighting spirit during this race and that’s quite important. We move onto the next race as a team, aiming to get back to scoring points.”
Alonso – “It was great to be back racing in Formula 1”
This weekend was also a welcome back to Fernando Alonso. The two-time world champion had taken two years out from the sport but missed it too much. It wasn’t the greatest of return races for him but there were some promises.
He was able to not only out qualify his teammate but get his car into Q3, qualifying in ninth overall. His race was also going well. The Spanish driver was having some great battle with new and former colleagues and was looking like he would easily finish the race in the points. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be when he was force to retire. Some debris had got caught in his brake ducts and overheated the car. A sorry end to his first race back.
“Firstly, it was great to be back racing in Formula 1. The start was fun, we gained some places and I had some enjoyable battles with old colleagues. However, it was disappointing to not see the chequered flag in the end. The issue we had after the second stop was a rear brake issue as some debris entered the brake ducts and overheated the temperatures of the car,” said Alonso.
“Looking at the race it was very close in the midfield, and just a couple of tenths seems to change the order quite significantly. I think it’s going to be a very interesting and competitive season to watch. We’ll go again and fight hard in Imola.”