Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso says he was hampered by a loss of straight-line performance in his Ferrari over the course of qualifying in Formula One at Bahrain, which led to him finishing Q3 in a lowly 10th place.
He will start ninth, however, as Daniel Ricciardo has a 10-place penalty. Nico Rosberg sits on the pole, with his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, starting alongside him on the front row for the Sunday race.
“I was losing power throughout the qualifying,” Alonso said. “So every run I was going out, the car felt slower and slower on the straights. In Q2 I did 34.5s; in Q3 with less fuel and better track conditions I did 34.9s. Unfortunately when it counted we didn’t have the package available.
“We need to look (at it). Is it something damaged in the aerodynamics or the floor or whatever that makes the car slower? Or something in the power unit?”
Alonso said he couldn’t yet be sure. But he added that his team would check everything out that they could.
“Sometimes there are some software tweaks or something, or some changes on the steering wheel,” he said. “We need to check if we did something during the qualifying. It just seemed to lose power slowly.”
Alonso said he remains optimistic for the race.
“We start ninth with the Ricciardo penalty, so we start on the clean side,” Alonso said. “We need to have a good start and a good strategy if we want to recover. People around us are very fast, (with Nico) Hulkenberg starting behind, and (Sebastian) Vettel. We must look at the front, but there also are strong people at the rear. We need to have an aggressive race. We have nothing to lose – we are nearly out of the points already, so we must improve.”