Alonso's F1 comeback race wrecked by sandwich wrapper

Fernando Alonso’s hopes of scoring points on his Formula 1 return in Bahrain were wrecked by a sandwich wrapper getting lodged in to one of his brake ducts.

Alonso's F1 comeback race wrecked by sandwich wrapper

The Spaniard was in the mix for a top ten finish at the F1 season opener as he battled with McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari rivals over the early stages of the Sakhir race.

But just when it looked like he was on course to deliver points in his first race for Alpine, despite some minor battery problems, he began struggling with overheating brakes and he was forced in to the pits to retire.

It was only when the team began a post-race analysis of the car to discover what the problem was, that it discovered a discarded food wrapper had got lodged inside the brake duct.

Alpine’s executive director Marcin Budkowski said: “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.

“This 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.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Fernando Alonso, Alpine F1

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Despite the disappointment of not getting some early points on the board, Alonso said he enjoyed his F1 return.

“Firstly, it was great to be back racing in Formula 1,” he said. “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.

“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."

Read Also:

Alpine left Bahrain without scoring any points after Esteban Ocon could only finish 13th. He had not been helped by a poor qualifying that was caused by bad luck with yellow flags, and also getting hit by Sebastian Vettel during a battle for position in the race.

“Even with Seb [Vettel] at the end, he locked up and went into me,” said Ocon. “He apologised, we all make mistakes, and that happens sometimes. We were just a little bit short overall today.”

shares
comments

Related video

Horner: F1 track limit rules should not be "shades of grey"

Previous article

Horner: F1 track limit rules should not be "shades of grey"

Next article

How F1 track limits became the talk of the Bahrain GP

How F1 track limits became the talk of the Bahrain GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Teams Alpine
Author Jonathan Noble
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021