Esteban Ocon had his best qualifying session for the Alpine F1 team as he finished in sixth position at the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve circuit. Fernando Alonso finished in thirteenth position in slippery and windy conditions on Saturday.
Ocon has steadily improved from the first race and managed to convert the good form he has shown this weekend into sixth position on the grid. Ocon has outqualified Alonso for the second consecutive race and is in a good position to score points in the race. The Alpine F1 team has brought upgrades to the car that have worked well after an abysmal first race.
Ocon is in a tough fight with the wily veteran Aonso in the team battle and has held his own so far. Ocon after the good qualification said: “I’m very pleased with that one! Thanks to the team for their hard work and dedication in recent weeks as it’s made the difference today.
“We made a good step between practice and qualifying, and everything worked really well. We aim to keep finding these improvements and carry this progress forward. We’re starting up there for the race, so that’s good news. We know it’ll be challenging tomorrow but overtaking is possible and there are some differences on starting tyre throughout the grid. The aim is to score points.”
Fernando Alonso: “It was not easy today and the weather conditions changed quite a lot from final practice”
Alonso had to be content with thirteenth position as he failed to make the final session of qualification for the second race in a row. His team-mate Ocon has qualified in the top ten in both races.
Alonso was not able to convert the good form shown during the practice sessions into a good qualifying position. The disappointed driver said: “It was not easy today and the weather conditions changed quite a lot from final practice.
“We lost something between FP3 and qualifying so we need to look at this and understand what happened. The good thing is we can choose the tyre we start on tomorrow and this gives us more options on strategy. Points are scored tomorrow, so it’s still all to play for.”