The first Formula 1 race of 2021 happened on SundayAnd with that came the return of the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to the sport since his retirement in 2019. Alonso, who wanted to collect points on his first appearance at Alpine, had to retire in the middle of the race due to overheated brakes. And for the stupidest reason.
After a post-race analysis, Alpine discovered the cause of the problem. It wasn’t a faulty part, Alonso’s driving style or anything like that. No, it was a discarded sandwich packaging that had lodged in one of the rear brake ducts. Talk about bad luck.
“After his first stop, we had a small problem that forced us to reduce the car’s performance. After the second stop, a sandwich wrapping paper was stuck in the rear brake duct of Fernando’s car,” said Marcin Budkowski, Alpine’s managing director in a statement. “This led to high temperatures and some damage to the braking system. So we withdrew it for safety reasons. It was a very unfortunate first race for Fernando considering how strong he looked.”
Alonso was in the running for the top 10 before retiring and was hoping to score at least some points for the team on his debut. Despite the unfortunate turnaround, he remains in high spirits.
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“First of all, it was great to be back in Formula 1,” said the Spaniard. “The start was fun, we won a few places and I had some nice fights with old colleagues. However, it was disappointing not to see the checkered flag at the end. The problem we had after the second stop was a problem with the rear brake Dirt penetrated the brake lines and overheated the temperature of the car. “
Alonso’s team-mate Estaban Ocon took 13th place among the points.
“Looking ahead to the race, it was very close in midfield and just a few tenths seem to change the order significantly,” added Alonso. “I think it will be a very interesting and competitive season. We will go again and fight hard in Imola.”