Fernando Alonso says he was hampered by a loss of straight line performance over the course of qualifying in Bahrain, a handicap that led to him finishing Q3 in a lowly 10th place.
He will start ninth however, as Daniel Ricciardo has a 10-place penalty.
“I was losing power throughout the qualifying,” said Alonso. “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 counts we didn’t have the package available. We need to look, is it something damaged in the aerodynamics or the floor or whatever that makes the car slower? Or something in the power unit?
“Sometimes there are some software tweaks or something, it’s enough, or some changes on the steering wheel. We need to check if we did something during the qualifying. It just seemed to lose power slowly.”
Alonso remains optimistic for the race: “We start ninth with the Ricciardo penalty, so we start on the clean side. We need to have a good start and a good strategy if we want to recover. People around us are very fast, Hulkenberg starting behind, Vettel. We must look at the front, and also 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.”