Ferrari number one driver Fernando Alonso
had to settle for eighth place in the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix
on Sunday after a DRS issue compromised his afternoon.
The Spaniard, who had qualified third and who briefly moved up to second at the start, ran strongly in the opening stages.
However on lap 8 he had to make an unscheduled pit stop when the Drag Reduction System device on his Ferrari
F138 became stuck open. The following lap the issue then reoccurred and he had to stop again, dropping him further out of contention.
His problems were also confounded by the fact he was now told not to use the DRS at all, and while he did manage to fight back and score four points, he wasn't at all pleased.
“We definitely didn't have much luck today and that's a real shame, at the end of what had been such a positive weekend for me until this afternoon,” Alonso said. “We had been competitive in free practice and qualifying and we were expecting to have a good race.
“After the opening laps though, when I thought the rear tyres had gone off, the pit wall informed that the DRS was stuck. It wasn't fixed properly at the first stop and so I had to come in for another one. From then on, the clear instruction from the pit wall not to use it affected my race. I tried to recover but it was really difficult finding places to overtake without DRS.
“When you are far back, in the middle of a group, tyre degradation is even harder to manage [too]. I am sure that without the problems we would have finished higher up, because the car responds very well and it is definitely our best of the last four years. But having a good race involves a lot of factors, including a bit of luck.”
“Let's hope it balances out very soon now, maybe even starting in Barcelona, my home race [in three weeks time]. There, it will be even more important to have a good qualifying, because it's not easy to overtake on that track and so starting from the front is vital,” he added.
Team-mate Felipe Massa
meanwhile didn't have much luck either in the sister car, and after contact on the opening lap with Adrian Sutil
– which damaged the nose on the Brazilian's F138 – his afternoon was then wreaked by two punctures. He finished 15th, having started fourth.
“I was really unlucky in this race and even if it's true that many things can happen in this sport, I can't find an explanation for why so many of them have to be negative,” Massa said. “At the start, I lost ground after the collision with Sutil and then I lost even more time coming back to the pits to change tyres and that wiped out any chance of having a good race. In the first instance it was probably de-lamination on the right rear and in the second it might have been due to a puncture.
“Now we must try and understand exactly what happened and then immediately turn our attention to the next race in Spain”.