Alonso finishes with a flourish in final test in Bahrain

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. 12.03.2022. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Three
© XPB 

Alpine's Fernando Alonso was delighted to finish the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain with the third fastest time on the timesheets.

The two-time world champion was subsequently knocked back one spot by a special after-hours flier from Haas driver Mick Schumacher, but Alonso was still more than pleased with how his full day in the cockpit had gone.

"It was a good day of testing for us building on Esteban’s strong work yesterday," the 40-year-old from Spain commented. "We’ve learnt a lot with the car and completed many laps, so I’m pretty happy."

Alonso completed a total of 146 laps of Bahrain International Circuit over the course of the three days, with team mate Esteban Ocon adding a further 153 for a total of 299 laps by the Alpine as a whole.

"We are all still learning about the new cars and set-ups," Alonso reported. "We’ve tried several things with some clear results, and that’s what you want from testing. It was very productive.

"We don’t know what the others are doing, what programme they are following and how much fuel they have, and we need to wait until next Saturday to know. We’ll focus on ourselves and our plan is to arrive into next week with 100% effort.”

Alpine's new team principal Otmar Szafnauer - previously boss at Aston Martin - was feeling positive about the team's prospects heading into next week's season opener, also in Bahrain.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. 12.03.2022. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain

"The last two days have been equally good for Esteban and Fernando with a century of laps for both of them, which has allowed us to finalise our preparations well," he commented.

"It’s also meant we’ve been able to compensate for the loss of track time on the final day in Barcelona," he added, referring back to a hydraulic failure in the initial shakedown in February.

"We focused a little more on refining set-up and improving many of the finer details. Lots of laps means lots of learning and we’ve progressed the car significantly this week.

"We look forward to making further improvements in the coming days to continue our preparation in the best possible manner.

"Next week, we race for real and that’s an exciting time for everyone involved at BWT Alpine F1 Team and for the fans who have waited over the winter for the 2022 season to commence.”

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