The Spaniard retired from his first race since 2018 after the car’s rear brakes overheated.
“After the second stop, a sandwich wrap paper got stuck inside the rear brake duct of Fernando’s car, which led to high temperatures and caused some damage to the brake system,” said team executive director Marcin Budkowski.
“So we retired him for safety reasons.”
Alonso had qualified ninth for the race at Sakhir but retired on lap 32.
“The start was fun, we gained some places and I had some enjoyable battles with old colleagues. However, it was disappointing to not see the chequered flag in the end,” said the 39-year-old.
Sunday’s season-opener had fans in attendance after organisers made tickets available to those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who had recovered from the virus. Most of last year’s grands prix were behind closed doors.
“It’s the first time we have seen fans in a long time and it’s so good to see people out here and everyone keeping their distance and staying safe,” seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said after winning the race for Mercedes.
You may also like
Super League: UEFA forced to drop disciplinary proceedings against remaining clubs
Simone Biles says she ‘should have quit way before Tokyo’
Kyrie Irving: NBA star the latest to withhold vaccination status
Roger Hunt: English football mourns death of Liverpool striker and World Cup winner
‘Every single time I lift the bar, I’m just lifting my country up’: Shiva Karout’s quest for powerlifting glory