The Formula 1 newcomers Alpine F1 Team were having a great first day of the 2021 season as both of the drivers of Esteban Ocon and the returning Fernando Alonso showed some promising pace during both of the free-practice sessions held over the day.
In the first Free-Practice 1 of the season, the drivers were met with blistering hot tempartures on the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain as the tempartures reached thirty-five degrees celsius. Both of the Alpine drivers used the first session to try out some different aerodynamic settings on the A521. The team selected to start of the testing by using the hardest compund tyre available before rounding up the session with the softest compound.
Ocon rounded up the first practice with a time of 1:33.528 that led to a fifteenth fastest time meanwhile Alonso ended a position further down in sixteenth with a time of 1:33.872.
During the Free-Practice 2 held later during a windy evening, the drivers were allowed to do their first low fuel runs which benefitted the times and both managed to improve the pace by ending the day in the eleventh place with a time of 1:31.601 for Ocon and fifteenth with a time of 1:31.770 for Alonso.
“It was fantastic to be back in a free practice session today in Formula 1,” Alonso explained.
“You feel the extra adrenaline with the traffic and everything going on around you; it’s very different to testing. It felt good and I felt the racing spirit each lap, which I enjoyed. We got through our programme in the first session in very hot conditions and then some long runs this evening as the track cooled for FP2.”
“We do still need to fine tune some of the car setup and analyse the data a bit more, but, overall, I’m happy with my day.”
Ocon admitts they have discovered new things after the pre-season testing
During the pre-season testing that were also held at Bahrain, Ocon has now admitted that the Alpine F1 Team have discovered some new things that could improve the battle in the midfield over the 2021 season but they are still searching for more details.
“It’s good to be back in the car again in preparation for a race weekend. I think we’ve had a solid day as we made an improvement from FP1 to FP2,” Ocon explained.
“We’ve discovered a lot of things between now and testing, so it was good to carry that on during today’s practice. We still need to work hard and find more details, though, and there’s certainly more potential to unlock from the car.”
“It’s only Friday and we know tomorrow is when it counts. I quite enjoyed the shorter practice sessions. It means you have to focus a lot more on each run as every bit of track time counts.”