Fernando Alonso’s return ended in early retirement in bizarre circumstances with a sandwich wrapper revealed as the cause of the issue. The two-time champion was having an excellent weekend, qualifying in the ninth position while reaching as high as seventh during the race. He then lost pace after his first pit stop and had to finally retire after his second pitstop. Alonso revealed post-race that he was forced to retire due to debris in his brake duct which he said was unlucky given the size of the hole.
“After his first stop we had a small issue that forced us to reduce the performance of the car, then after the second stop, a sandwich wrap paper got stuck inside the rear brake duct of Fernando’s car,” said Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski. “[That] led to high temperatures and caused some damage to the brake system, so we retired him for safety reasons. It was a very unlucky first race for Fernando considering how strong he looked.”
After the majority of the races last season taking place without fans, the Bahrain Grand Prix saw the return of fans who were fully vaccinated against the virus as well as those who had recovered completely from the virus.