Fernando finishes seventh in a “bit of a coincidence”

Fernando finishes seventh in a “bit of a coincidence”

Fernando Alonso says his seventh place in the Bahrain Grand Prix was a “bit of a coincidence” and admits his McLaren Formula 1 team must improve in the upcoming races.

The Woking-based team was left “astonished” on Saturday after struggling in qualifying, where Alonso finished 13th with team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne one place further back.

But both drivers recovered to finish in the points on Sunday, with Alonso seventh and Vandoorne coming home eighth.

It is the first time that McLaren has scored points in consecutive races with both cars since the 2014 season.

But despite making progress in the race, Alonso admitted the weekend had been particularly tough for McLaren and conceded that the result flattered the car’s performance.

“It was another great race today, with the team performing good pit-stops, good strategy and good reliability. Everyone worked perfectly today and we got both cars into the points.

“We did a good job at the start, overtaking a couple of cars. We had newer tyres compared to the people around us and we were expecting a bit more, but after that we had the pace to keep our position in the front train.

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“Looking at the overall picture of the weekend, we struggled in every session and had quite a poor qualifying, so now being seventh and eighth is a positive result for the team.

“Having 16 points after two races is promising, but at the same time we know that this weekend was not good enough in terms of performance, so we need to raise our game. We just cannot underperform again. We know that we have the potential, and that the car has some good things and bad things which we need to make sure we improve as soon as possible. New parts are coming, but whatever we have on the car on Sunday we’re sure we’ll deliver and push to the limits, and today was another good example.”