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Alonso has "a lot of room to improve" form during F1 return

Fernando Alonso thinks there is still "a lot of room to improve" from his side despite a strong showing on his Formula 1 race return in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

The two-time world champion took his first grand prix start since 2018 at Sakhir following two years competing in the World Endurance Championship and the Dakar rally among others.

Despite the long absence, Alonso made it into the top 10 in qualifying and was fighting for a point-scoring finish before a sandwich wrapper lodged into a brake duct forced him into retirement 32 laps into the race.

After Sunday, the Spaniard felt he still needed to iron out mistakes and find more speed and confidence at the wheel.

"It was nice," said Alonso of his race. "I had a couple of good battles and some of those had happy endings, some of the were not as we were being overtaken.

"But I need to find more pace from myself and find more confidence and I need to extract more from the car, the brakes and execute the start better.

"It was not too bad but there is a lot of room to improve from my side.

"At the pitstops I think the guys did an amazing job but my position in the second stop was not right. These are small things and mistakes I keep doing from testing and this first race, but hopefully by race two and three I can perform better personally."

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Although Alpine did not feature in the leading positions during the opening weekend of 2021, Alonso remains confident his comeback will be enjoyable for himself and those following it.

"I think it is going to be okay. You will enjoy the comeback and you will enjoy the fight that we will put in every weekend," he added.

"I think we always said from the beginning that this is a very interesting and Alpine is in F1 for big things. Maybe 2021 is a continuation of 2020 and we are building the momentum and something more important heading into 2022.

"I hope you will enjoy this comeback."

Despite a disappointing weekend for Alpine, Alonso admitted it was hard to judge the team's position in the pecking order.

"It is difficult to say. I think we saw different results and a bit of mixed feeling for everybody including us. Sometimes we look better sometimes we look a little bit down.

"We will need a couple of races to have a more established order so let's wait and see. Our job is to work harder and identify our weaknesses if there are any and work on those and keep our strengths. It is an interesting season for everybody."

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