2018 Bahrain GP: “Another Great Race” as Alonso Finishes 7th

Today’s race offered a welcome final result after what was a difficult day for McLaren in qualifying yesterday.

Starting in 13th and 14th, both drivers had opposing fortunes – Fernando made a strong start and was able to push forward to make up ground to the cars in front. Stoffel, conversely, had a slower than anticipated start and was 20th after the first corner. Nevertheless, he fought back in impressive style to finish just behind his team-mate – the pair finishing in seventh and eighth positions respectively.

Strong performances from both Fernando Alonso & Stoffel Vandoorne, and executing a successful strategy which included four strong pit-stops between them, rewarded the team with a second double-points finish in as many races.

2018 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Race Results
1.germany Sebastian Vettel FerrariFerrari 
2.finland Valtteri Bottas MercedesMercedes+0.699
3.united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton MercedesMercedes+6.512
4.france Pierre Gasly Toro RossoHonda+1’02.234
5.denmark Kevin Magnussen HaasFerrari+1’15.046
6.germany Nico Hulkenberg RenaultRenault+1’39.024
7.spain Fernando Alonso McLarenRenault+1 lap
8.belgium Stoffel Vandoorne McLarenRenault+1 lap
9.sweden Marcus Ericsson SauberFerrari+1 lap
10.france Esteban Ocon Force IndiaMercedes+1 lap

Fernando Alonso:

“It was another great race today, with the team performing good pit-stops, good strategy and good reliability. Everyone worked perfectly today and we got both cars into the points.

“We did a good job at the start, overtaking a couple of cars. We had newer tyres compared to the people around us and we were expecting a bit more, but after that we had the pace to keep our position in the front train.

“Looking at the overall picture of the weekend, we struggled in every session and had quite a poor qualifying, so now being seventh and eighth is a positive result for the team.

“Having 16 points after two races is promising, but at the same time we know that this weekend was not good enough in terms of performance, so we need to raise our game. We just cannot underperform again. We know that we have the potential, and that the car has some good things and bad things which we need to make sure we improve as soon as possible. New parts are coming, but whatever we have on the car on Sunday we’re sure we’ll deliver and push to the limits, and today was another good example.”

Stoffel Vandoorne:

“After the start of the race I didn’t think this result would be possible today! I had a terrible start, a lot of wheel-spin off the line and found myself sitting there in absolute last after Turn One. From there we made a great recovery, and to finish eighth and have both cars in the points again is very pleasing.

“We always knew our race pace was going to be better than our qualifying pace and today we proved that again. We overtook a lot of cars on track and made some very bold overtaking moves into Turn One. For me it was an amazing race and I enjoyed some great fighting, so I’m pretty happy. We were very ambitious today and had a good strategy, knew our race pace was better than a lot of the people around us and today is a great result for us.

“We still have a lot of analysis and work to do to understand why our race pace is so different. I think it will get better over the next few races and if we’re able to start in higher positions it will make our life a bit easier and allow us to finish further up the grid. I’m sure the results will be visible very soon. There are a lot of plans in place and we know that in Formula 1 it can take a bit of time to see the benefits of those, but we’re very confident that on a Sunday we can go out and race. We showed that again today and we need to keep working and keep improving.”