Fernando Alonso says the Bahrain night race means it is "like starting from scratch" in terms of car set-up.

The teams had two four-day tests at the Bahrain International Circuit during pre-season, meaning plenty of data was gathered about how each car performed at the track. However, with FP2, qualifying and the race taking place under floodlights after sunset, Alonso said the car was reacting in a totally different way to pre-season.

"After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark even if it was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it," Alonso said. "From this aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car. Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it's like starting from scratch and one has to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions."

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With Mercedes looking in dominant form once again, Alonso urged Ferrari not to take too many risks as it plays catch-up in the early part of the season.

"We know our strong points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is always very important."