Fernando Alonso described the McLaren F1 Team‘s Friday as “positive”, after he secured a top six finish the day’s Free Practice 2 session.
Alonso profited from Max Verstappen‘s crash at the start of the session on his out-lap, meaning that the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver failed to set a time in the afternoon, to end FP2 1.7 seconds shy of pacesetter Sebastian Vettel and a tenth ahead of seventh-placed Nico Hülkenberg.
McLaren continued to use Free Practice 1 as a testing session for new components, the Spaniard setting the fifteenth fastest time of the session.
“It was definitely a positive Friday for us,” Alonso said.
“We tested several items for future reference, which meant we sacrificed some track time in FP1 for that. In the second session, the car behaved well and we did some tyre tests, but clearly the car is quite similar to how it was in France and Austria.”
Because of Formula 1‘s first ever triple-header, Alonso is not expecting any drastic changes in the order and believes that McLaren can compete in the tight midfield battle. He acknowledged how fine the margins can be in qualifying – he hasn’t reached Qualifying 3 since the Monaco Grand Prix in May,
“In the last 11 days we [have] raced three times, so the performance and the power shouldn’t be too different to what we saw in the last couple of weeks,” he predicted.
“It means that tomorrow it’s going to be tight in the midfield. Two tenths can completely change your qualifying, as you can be out in Q1 or you can be seventh. Hopefully we are closer to Q3 than in the last few races, but everything remains to be seen.
“The track is in good condition, in good shape; the asphalt is better, less bumpy, and has more grip. The third DRS zone probably gives us an opportunity to race as well, and the weather is great, so I think we have all the ingredients to see a good race.”