Alonso still has 'a lot of room for improvement' after Bahrain GP

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Fernando Alonso says he has "a lot of room for improvement" after his first Formula 1 race weekend for over two years in Bahrain.

The double world champion had a respectable return making Q3 in qualifying and fighting for the tail-end points in an Alpine that found itself in the lower half of F1's midfield pecking order.

Unfortunately, all Alonso's hard work would be undone by a sandwich bag, which caused his retirement 34 laps into the race.

“We had some brake issues at the end that stopped us seeing the chequered flag,” he said. “Apparently some debris came into the brake duct, which is a little bit unfortunate.

"I think the race was fun until that point. The start, the first couple of laps, some battles with my old colleagues and I did enjoy it. But obviously, now you’re disappointed not to see the chequered flag.”

Indeed, Alonso found himself fighting faces both new and old in the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Yuki Tsunoda during his race.

And reflecting on his weekend, the 39-year-old admits there is still some rust to shake off.

“I’m still not at 100 percent,” he stated.

“I won some of the duels but not others and I need a bit more rhythm and confidence to get the most out of the brakes, the acceleration of the car.

"I have a lot of room for improvement. I also made little mistakes like not getting the car in the grid very well at the second pitstop.”

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As for the Alpine car... “I think we still need to improve,” he added.

“I think it’s very close in the midfield; a couple of tenths changes a lot of positions, so we will have to fine-tune things and execute [well] to perfect every race.

“A small mistake can cost a lot of positions in qualifying and the race. So it’s going to be a very interesting season, I think, for you to watch.”