Bahrain, Fernando Alonso, Red Bull Mercedes discussed on The Autosport Podcast


In another hotel on the thief district. So every day basically, I go and collect him and then we both together brave the Bahrain traffic, which there's no getting around it is really quite frightening. It's pretty busy. It's pretty, you've got to be able to keep your wits about you and yeah, just generally all the years I've been coming here. It's never been anywhere particularly pleasant, drive. Obviously, this part of the world, this country, there's plenty else worth getting outraged by in terms of how minorities and dissidents are treated, but given this as a travel diary, I think that there's simply no sugar coating it. I don't want to drive another mile in my ways admittedly, a very nice Toyota high car. I just don't want to. It's pretty dangerous. Last week, during testing, when there was certainly particularly bad traffic, apparently there was a big celebration taken over town, kuwaiti, national celebrating the QAT national day, having a great time, driving across roads, driving across the desert, it seemed at times even near the hotel, the unpaved bits around here, going the wrong way around about all particularly frightening, not very nice. But anyway, as I said, this is a travel diary, hence why I'm giving an update on the even the negative parts of travel. But back to things that did ghost smoothly and that was the Thursday of the Bahrain Grand Prix obviously every Thursday, the pre event media day. And things just ran very, very smoothly, obviously it helped that we had testing here last weekend, so you've gone around spoken to spoken to all of my contacts in the paddock, spoken to team PRs, introduce yourself to new people, obviously got your iron back in your ear in as well as if that makes any sense at all talking to the drivers. They're all in good form and also this paddock actually is very comfortable. They do look after everybody very well here and it's a great facility. So hats off to that here in Bahrain. But yeah, just a very smooth first day and our eyes pleased to get stuck in with asking Fernando Alonso in particular questions in the press conference. He was really interesting chatting to him, obviously, as you'll know, I do hope you've listened to the qualifying update at the start of this podcast, potentially Aston Martin in the mix as I speak right now. We expect them to be or at least based on what all the Red Bull Mercedes and Ferrari drivers were saying they've certainly got a chance of being in the mix this year, although to be fair, always worth remembering that it's even easier to not talk about your own team's potential if you're talking up another team and then obviously if it doesn't come to pot. All the better for all the better for that sort of machiavellian game, the team to the driver's role playing. But anyway, back to Alonso, yeah, it was interesting. They're sort of rumors going around about Alonzo in terms of the injury that he sustained in Melbourne last year if you remember and crashed very heavily in Q three when he was briefly threatening both position. It looked like a sort of weird driver error, but his Alpine team at the time then saying it was down to a hydraulic issue, the sort of pitched him off the track. And basically, the Alonzo is now confirmed, he broke several bones in his hand last year in that incident, and it was interesting. For several races, he was noticeably sporting strapping. I remember speaking to him in the panic in Monaco, our street had another crash in Q three, remember how that crash well adrift on the track behind the saints and Perez in qualifying there in Monaco last year. So basically it said to him, is that strapping something to help with an injury that used the scientists? No, no, no, this was all from Melbourne, and now he says, yeah, driving driving with broken bones in his hands. A Fernando Alonso, I gotta say, you know, I really think Formula One is better having you in it. I know there's a lot of dots of chatter going back a few years about drivers if you've been in the sport a long time for now no one's only now he's 20th season in Formula One. Do they deserve a place when they're young drivers struggling to get in? Well, I have to say in Alonso's case, absolutely Formula One is just much, much, much better having him in it. He's still got it. He's a terrific driver and honestly for a journalist. He's an absolute dream, because he's always he's always giving, even when he's not giving an answer, he's giving something. A little dick at his old team, Alpine and his former team at Esteban ocon when he said that Aston Martin can't possibly be in the mix because there are the class a teams, the front three teams in his words. They lapped everybody last year, even the fourth fastest team out putting they didn't name. Only 7 drivers, those 6 plus himself, of course, finished on the lead lap, so yeah, very funny there from Fernando Alonso. If of course I'm interpreting that subtext correctly. But anyway, getting a bit sidetracked down the Alonso chat, but for either way, if that's the new in the mix or not or even if they're just closer to the top three. Really good to see Alonso apparently thriving so far. Other than that, my only really update from Thursdays I went for a track run following all my work being done in the paddock, please report that I was about 40 seconds faster than I was during the run that I did with Matt and codd is back in testing. So then I don't know what's responsible for that, maybe just the three days of practice on the treadmill during the downtime between the events obviously helped. What was noticeable was there were several people cycling the track. Using the other layouts, obviously the endurance layout that was used for the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. And of course, the outer loop layout as well, the secure 2020 loud. So yeah, they're not illuminated by the massive massive pylons and the lights, but nevertheless they're easily accessible. Then I drove back home, losing lots of time in traffic, but I promise I won't go any more on that with Phil. We had a lovely dinner together. But there we go. That's the end of my first part of my travel diary. Here comes another break with a few seconds for you and 24 hours for me. Welcome back to this timeline hopping, travel podcast adventure for me. It's Friday night here in Bahrain after the opening day of practice. Well, today, earlier on, much earlier

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