Esteban Ocon had his best qualifying session of 2021 but unfortunately couldn’t keep the position on race day at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Alpine F1 Team driver qualified in a promising fifth place, putting him ahead of both McLaren F1 Team’s drivers and the Scuderia Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Come race day, he wasn’t able to continue his form, and found himself losing two places on the opening lap. Later in the race, teams started to notice that the race may possibly become a two-stop race due to heavy degradation on the tyres. While those round him decided to opt for a second pit stop, Ocon stayed out, with his tyres lasting to the end, where he crossed the line in ninth, bringing two points home for the team.
Ocon said: “It was a tough race today. We have a few things to review as we weren’t as fast as the Ferraris or the McLarens in the race. A positive thing is that last year here, we didn’t score points and this year we come away with two.
“It’s not ideal after qualifying, but we’ll take it and move on to the next race. We have more work to do on race pace and, as always, some things to discuss to improve ourselves. We’ll see how we do around Monaco, it’s great that we’re going back there, and we go there with some motivation to have a better result.”
Alonso’s unhappy homecoming
Fernando Alonso had a home Grand Prix to forget. With both drivers making it through to Q3 in qualifying, it looked as if a double-points finish for the team was all but in the bag.
Starting in tenth, Alonso also opted to go by the one-stop strategy but as the race went on, the Spaniard went tumbling down the grid. He eventually had to pit for a second time on Lap 61 for softs and crossing the line a few laps later in a less-than-impressive seventeenth.
“It wasn’t where we wanted to finish today but I think the weekend in general was positive. We had some good performance from the car, and we are definitely heading in the right direction. In Portugal we were fast, but we didn’t know if it was specific to that track, so our progression this weekend shows we are in a good place.” said Alonso.
“We had some fun battles today and I enjoyed the racing, but we just couldn’t hang on in the end with the Medium tyres. We had to try something different and it didn’t work out. We’ll go again in Monaco and have some fun there.”