Alonso, let's get to work

Bottas intoned Mercedes with the best time. 128 laps of the Asturian with the Alpine A521: he was second in the morning and did not do fast laps afterwards.


Yes, they are only tests and the times tables are worth little or nothing. But Alonso's return to Formula 1 is seen as good news for everyone. For the Spanish fans, for the paddock, for the worldwide repercussion of the championship and for the excitement during the races. The Asturian got on the Alpine A521 for the first time this Saturday and the sensations at the foot of the track are very good. Absolute precision, zero errors, not a slip on an asphalt that was not for frills. Hamilton himself was stranded on the gravel by an unforeseen gust of wind, but the 39-year-old Spanish rookie started his stint in the old Renault with strong runs, competitive laps and a spirit of sacrifice.

Finished touching 130 laps, among those who completed the most. In the morning he set the second fastest time of the session, 0.124 behind Ricciardo's McLaren although using a harder grade of Pirelli compounds. In the afternoon he had no quick lap attempts, which is why he finished in tenth place in the classification. Other teams, with other work plans, did run runs with the softest tires in the range. The two-time champion will do so on Saturday.

"We completed a lot of laps and followed the scheduled program, that's good. The car felt good, but we need to understand a little better the characteristics of the new aerodynamic package. We raced on the hard compounds and will collect more data Esteban and I on Sunday to fine-tune this package, "said Alonso. There is work to be done in that electric blue car, at least that's what those who know the ins and outs of the French team say. With Alonso, the horsepower or downforce will not reach the Alpine by themselves, but an extra tenth under pressure plus an enormous amount of enthusiasm and motivation.Bottas, the fastest of the day

Bottas, Gasly and Norris were the fastest of the second day of practice, the first two with the compound 'C5' (the softest, only used in urban circuits) and the McLaren with the ' C4 '(not used in the Bahrain GP). Although preseason training does not always deserve many conclusions, it is clear that the MCL35B was born strong and healthy, like an oak tree. Ricciardo has led the two morning runs in which he has participated and the change to the Mercedes engine has not choked either.

Perhaps they have got rid of a first batch of faulty gearboxes made by the Germans: if Hamilton and Bottas' car failed on Friday, on Saturday it was the turn of Vettel and Stroll's Aston Martin, which uses the same unit. McLaren manufactures its own. The Mercedes was intoned in the afternoon, already with Valtteri at the controls, and the Finn was the fastest, although they are not very competitive times (three seconds from pole in 2020) and minimal differences with respect to cars that are, to all lights, very inferior. The Red Bull took a small step back, but it is due to the debut of Checo Pérez, who has to adapt to his new mount. It is the car that has left the best sensations so far in the preseason in the hands of Verstappen.

Sainz drove the Ferrari in the morning

What about the Ferrari? It has good things and bad things. Carlos Sainz struggled in the morning and reached 56 steps per goal. He was fifth in his time slot, although in the afternoon he gave the turn to Charles Leclerc, who signed the sixth fastest time with the softest rubber of all. While the chronometer is unreliable at this stage of the course, Gasly's Alpha Tauri, or Stroll's Aston Martin, performed more smoothly. The Madrilenian will be able to test the limits of the SF21 on Sunday afternoon, when he returns to the track. You will have your race simulation and qualifying. And with that, and little else, to contest the first race of the season.

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