Marcin Budkowski, director of Alpine F1 Team, reviews the opening race for his team at the Bahrain Grand Prix. It wasn’t the best of opening races for the team with both drivers walking away with no points.
It was looking as if it was going to be a tall order for the team to get double points right from the get go with Esteban Ocon getting knocked out of qualifying in Q1.
“It’s not the best start to the season for us as we had our fair share of bad luck throughout the weekend; both in qualifying and the race. Both cars made a good start and gained some places on the first lap with Fernando holding firm in the top ten.” stated Budkowski.
Fernando Alonso looked the more promising of the two drivers to walk away with points but his race was hindered due to a rogue sandwich wrapper. The wrapper got lodged inside his rear brake duct and caused the car to overheat. The team had to eventually retire him.
“After his first stop we had a small issue that forced us to reduce the performance of the car, then after the second stop, a sandwich wrap paper got stuck inside the rear brake duct of Fernando’s car, which led to high temperatures and caused some damage to the brake system, so we retired him for safety reasons. It was a very unlucky first race for Fernando considering how strong he looked.”
Despite his low starting position, Ocon was able to drive a solid race in what was quite a tightly contested back end of the grid. The French driver kept charging to get himself in the points but ultimately finished thirteenth.
“Esteban drove a solid race today starting from sixteenth and was heading towards a possible points finish. But then he was hit by Sebastian [Vettel], which led to some damage to the car.
“We’ve got some work to do ahead of Imola to bring more performance to the car to fight in a very competitive midfield where each tenth counts. We’re all looking forward to having another go in just a few weeks.”