Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso looked forward to better luck in his home Spanish Grand Prix next month after his hopes of victory in Bahrain on Sunday were wrecked by a faulty rear wing.
The double world champion had arrived at the Sakhir circuit on the back of a win in China and was running in second place when the DRS system on the car’s wing jammed open, forcing an unscheduled pitstop.
He then had to race for 50 laps without the benefit of the system to help with overtaking, finishing eighth.
“We definitely didn’t have much luck today and that’s a real shame, at the end of what had been such a positive weekend,” he said, with Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa 15th after having the front wing damaged in a first-lap collision and then suffering punctures.
“After the opening laps, when I thought the rear tyres had gone off, the pit wall informed me that the DRS was stuck. It wasn’t fixed properly at the first stop and so I had to come in for another one.
“From then on, the clear instruction from the pit wall not to use it affected my race. I tried to recover but it was really difficult finding places to overtake without DRS.”
Alonso, a three-times winner in Bahrain, said the car was otherwise good and certainly the best he had driven since he joined Ferrari in 2010.
“Having a good race involves a lot of factors, including a bit of luck. Let’s hope it balances out very soon, maybe even starting in Barcelona, my home race,” he said in a team review of the race.
Ferrari hailed the Spaniard – overall runner-up last year but now fourth in the championship and 30 points off Red Bull’s leader Sebastian Vettel after four races – for putting in astonishing lap times despite the problem.
“It’s a real shame because even with a damaged car, his race pace was among the best and it should have been enough to see us finish second or even fight for the win,” said technical director Pat Fry.