Alpine F1 Team are looking to build on confidence at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a fantastic result in the Portuguese Grand Prix that saw both drivers finishing in the points.
After a difficult start to the 2021 season that saw them score three points in the opening two races, Alpine finally showed some potential in Barcelona, with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso finishing seventh and eighth respectively.
With the Spanish Grand Prix coming so swiftly after the Portuguese GP, it’s the perfect opportunity for Alpine to continue their good form, and they certainly did in both Friday practice sessions.
Ocon went the fourth quickest in the second practice session, with a lap time of 1:18.466 – just under three-tenths behind Lewis Hamilton that topped the session.
Although the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is well-known for most drivers on the grid, a slight change of layout at turn ten has caused a few problems, including Ocon who wants to see improvements over the weekend.
“We can be happy with our day’s work. It’s always tricky in Barcelona with the grip and tyre usage so there’s lots for us to learn and understand.
“I think the new Turn 10 was interesting and, on our side, we have room for improvement there. As a team, we made a good step from FP1 to FP2 and I felt that in the car.
“The aim is to repeat that in FP3 and make another step in performance. It was a busy two sessions, lots of things tried on both cars and that gives us a lot to analyse to find more speed.”
Fernando Alonso – “it gives me confidence for tomorrow”
His team-mate and two-time World Champion Alonso recorded his best result since returning to the sport at the Portuguese Grand Prix after finishing eighth, climbing from thirteenth on the grid.
Now, the Spaniard returns to Barcelona for his home Grand Prix and will be aiming for another good result, and Alonso seemed to be enjoying his time around the circuit in Friday’s afternoon session as he finished fifth fastest, under one-hundredths behind Ocon.
So, it was no real surprise to see Alonso pleased with action on Friday and gave him confidence ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
“It was a good Friday for us today. Over the two sessions we concentrated on some small upgrades that we brought to the car this weekend and then collected some good information about the tyres and our car set-up.
“Overall, I am pleased with our two sessions and I think the car balance feels good, so it gives me confidence for tomorrow. Let’s see where we are for qualifying.”