Fernando Alonso returned to the F1 grid in Bahrain last Sunday, marking a much anticipated return since his temporary retirement from the sport in 2018. The weekend did not play out the way the Spaniard would have hoped, as he was forced to retire with rear break cooling issues. But what caused these issues…?
Alonso had a good qualifying, putting his Alpine 9th on the grid, and was running in the points for much of the race. Things soon went downhill for Fernando however, as his break temperatures shot through the roof just past the half way stage of the race.
It turns out a simple rogue sandwich wrapper ruined Fernando’s race, as Alpine’s Executive Director Marcin Budkowski explains: “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 the disappointing end to the race, the 39 year old was quick to put the weekend behind him, choosing to immediately focus his attention to the next race in Imola.
“It was great to be back racing in Formula 1,” Alonso 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.”