Alex analysis: Bahrain round 1
Recap everything we learnt from the season opener
04 Mar 2024
Est Reading Time
3 min
And just like that, Round One is complete.
Alex went racing for the first time in 2024 at the weekend – let’s look back at how he got on, and what we learnt from the Bahrain Desert.
Throwback to last Thursday and Albono completed a smooth first day of running, racking up 43 laps across the two practice sessions. In FP2, the most representative session in terms of qualifying and race conditions, Alex set a 1:31.333 to end the practice in P11.
A quiet start to Friday in FP3 set the stage for qualifying under the night sky in Sakhir. Alex came out strong, placing 9th in an incredibly tight Q1 to sail through to Q2, with just one second separating the entire grid!
With a Q2 run on used soft tyres, a 1:30.221 was the best Alex could get out of his FW46 – good enough to earn a P13 start for Saturday.
The session had its positives though, with Albono commenting, “P15 was where we predicted we’d be today, so it’s a slight reward qualifying P13.
"On paper, it’s mixed feelings because I feel like we did a good job and got the most out of the car – but we’ve definitely got more performance in it, which isn’t a bad thing.”
Heading into race day, the stage for the season opener was set, under the floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit.
Having to deal with Mercedes power-unit issues, Alex was forced to take cooling measures throughout the 57 laps.
A prolonged first stint on the soft tyre saw Alex rise up the leaderboard to as high as P3. When he eventually boxed on lap 17, the rest of the field was able to catch up – though Albono was still showing some good pace to keep up with the pack around him.
The high PU temperatures made attacking tough, with Alex frequently forced to veer off the racing line to try and cool his FW46.
This ultimately meant points proved a step too far for the team, and Alex finished the day in P15, after driving solidly in difficult circumstances.
On that result, Alex commented that, “the car itself was okay but we’re far behind.
“We had issues the whole race with things that, if we had done more running in testing, we would’ve been able to avoid.
“We were overheating the entire race and were down on power, so hopefully we can take a look at the data and arrive in Jeddah in better shape.
“Our pace relative to the others is quite similar, so that midfield battle is close and will be tough.”
Plenty for Alex and the team to take away from the first racing of 2024, then. One down, 23 to go.
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