Miguel A. HerguedasSpecial Envoy Sakhir

Special Envoy Sakhir

Updated Saturday, March 2, 2024-21:09

  • Bahrain GP Classification and times

  • The Emeritus returns to F1. Surprise visit to the paddock and jokes with Sainz

An hour before the race, as the mechanics drained their cigarettes and sipped the last of their coffee, the atmosphere in the Aston Martin garage was very different from that of a year ago in Sakhir.


main team


Mike Krack

, was having a sandwich under the


awnings and his men were following

Fernando Alonso

's statements at the

drivers parade

out of the corner of their eye .

The tension was felt and not that overflowing illusion of 2023. Only three hours later, when the Asturian paraded towards the starting turnstiles, the green troops were already preparing their luggage for Saudi Arabia, aware that this World Cup has started awry.

The reverential respect for Alonso among the Aston Martin people is best understood in moments like this, when pre-race simulations already placed them as fifth car on the grid.

Hence that somber atmosphere among the strike force.

A severe setback after months of work and a disappointment, in particular, for the two-time world champion.

"We have four teams a little ahead of us, as was already the case in Abu Dhabi," admitted Alonso, in reference to the last round of the 2023 World Cup.

Starting the new course as the previous one ended is never acceptable for someone as demanding as Alonso, whose smile only fully appeared during a brief photo session with

King Juan Carlos


For the second consecutive day, the Emeritus stopped by Sakhir yesterday to greet the Spanish pilots.

The monarch was a talisman for

Carlos Sainz

, but not for Alonso, upset in front of the microphones.

"We are behind McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, so we have to improve. The return from qualifying


Friday was a bit exceptional and put us in a situation that was not real. Today we have seen reality," he said. DAZN.

"We need more performance"

Alonso's rawness was sweetened, as usual, by Krack, with his sights already set on next Saturday's race.

"We need a little more performance to challenge the teams in front, but this is a race, a track and we will work hard to progress in Jeddah," said the Luxembourger.

If he had noticed Alonso, as he himself admitted yesterday, somewhat sulking during the preseason, we will now have to see the Asturian in the face of these first adversities.

Alonso and the Emeritus, on Saturday in Bahrain.RV RACING PRESS

Of course, Saudi Arabia is not exactly the ideal environment for AMR24.

Although a year ago Alonso was able to chase a podium behind the Red Bulls, the dizzying rope of Jeddah should favor Ferrari or McLaren more.

Not to mention the unapproachable Red Bull.

After racking their brains over the winter to improve top speed, Krack engineers are asking for a little more patience to evaluate the step forward.

For now, Lance Stroll was sixth yesterday in this section (326 km/h) and Alonso, tenth (324 km/h).