Fernando Alonso has stated that he is unhappy with the rear of his Formula 1 car despite qualifying ninth for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After a two-year hiatus away from Formula 1, the two-time world champion marked his return to the sport with aplomb placing his unfancied Alpine car in ninth during the first qualifying session of the year. Despite the result, Alonso still says he is not confident with certain elements of the car.
"I lack confidence a little bit on the rear end of the car," Alonso told Sky Sports. "Braking performance was also very different compared to the test."
Alonso went on to explain how is happy with the outcome though stressing the importance of the race itself.
"Obviously it’s the first qualifying of the year so you never know what to expect and I’m happy with ninth," Alonso said.
"I was hoping a lot for qualifying. I think the wind direction changed and the cooler temperature I was thinking could be a good help for my driving style as well. I came with some confidence into qualifying but in a way it was better than expected.
"Now it’s time to think about the race. Like today, there will be many first-time things – first time start, first time in the first corner, trying to keep away from problems, the pit-stops will again feel very new, so there are many things I need to go through the first time tomorrow."
The Spaniard has in the past proved to be a master of extracting every small ounce of race pace from his car. He will be hoping his first Formula 1 race start in two years yields a significant haul of points.