Alonso: McLaren flattered by "coincidence" Bahrain result

Fernando Alonso says his seventh place in the Bahrain Grand Prix was a "bit of a coincidence" and admits his McLaren F1 team must improve in the upcoming races.

Alonso: McLaren flattered by "coincidence" Bahrain result
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Fernando Alonso, McLaren and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren on the grid
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 Renault
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 Renault
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 Renault
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 Renault, Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL33 Renault, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 Tag Heuer, and Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari

The Woking-based team was left "astonished" on Saturday after struggling in qualifying, where Alonso finished 13th and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was one place behind.

But both drivers recovered to finish in the points on Sunday, with Alonso in seventh and Vandoorne in eighth.

It is the first time McLaren has scored points in consecutive races with both cars since the 2014 season.

But despite the progress in the race, Alonso admitted the weekend had been particularly tough for McLaren and conceded the result flattered the car's performance.

"We fixed it [qualifying] on the opening lap, didn't we?" joked Alonso.

"When I looked in the mirrors and I saw [Lewis] Hamilton behind I thought 'I don't know what position I'm in but it can't be too bad if Hamilton is behind'.

"We were still lacking a bit of pace in the race to be with [Nico] Hulkenberg and to attack the Haas.

"A pretty difficult weekend saved by the bell at the last moment with two cars in the points and with good points for the team, but we know we have to improve because today was a bit of a coincidence."

Today's result, aided by the retirement of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and the two Red Bulls, helped Alonso move into fourth place in the standings.

The two-time champion said he was "very happy" with the points haul so far despite McLaren's lack of pace.

"The race is not just about car performance. It's about saving fuel, the tyres, the start, the first corner, the first lap... there's a lot more factors and we are usually better on Sundays than on Saturday.

"We know it's been a particularly strange weekend for us. Very hard, too slow, especially in qualifying and we need to improve in the upcoming races because starting from so far back it's complicated.

"But anyway, fifth in Australia, seventh here, 10 points there, six here. We would have taken 16 points before starting the championship in Barcelona, so I'm very happy about that."

 

shares
comments
Vettel feared Mercedes had pulled "checkmate" move

Previous article

Vettel feared Mercedes had pulled "checkmate" move

Next article

Hamilton says Verstappen move "silly" and "unnecessary"

Hamilton says Verstappen move "silly" and "unnecessary"
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race Prime

The "blind faith" Mercedes call that won Hamilton his 100th F1 race

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces Prime

Why momentum is again behind Australia's aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021