Esteban Ocon says the important day is Saturday despite an impressive Friday at the Red Bull Ring saw the Frenchman end an encouraging third fastest in the afternoon practice session.
The Alpine F1 Team driver started the day with the seventh fastest time in the morning session as the Styrian Grand Prix weekend got underway, but it got even better for Ocon in the afternoon as he finished behind only Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and McLaren F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Ocon felt it was a productive day in Austria on Friday and it was nice to be as high up the field as he was, but he knows Saturday’s Qualifying will be the much more important session.
“It’s been a busy Friday for us with lots of things completed,” said Ocon. “Having both cars well into the top ten is positive but it is only Friday and we need to stay focused and keep working on the areas that we can improve.
“Nevertheless, it’s been a productive day and we look forward to tomorrow. It’s nice to be third on the timesheets and hear ‘you’re P1’ on the radio for a short moment, but it’s only FP2 and tomorrow is when it counts.”
“Hopefully we should be in for a competitive weekend” – Fernando Alonso
Team-mate Fernando Alonso was equally impressive, with the Spaniard ending up fifth fastest in the afternoon session having been sixth in the morning.
The veteran Spaniard said the car felt good straightaway on Friday and he believes there is more pace still to come, which gives him confidence the team are on course for a strong weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
“It was a smooth Friday for us today,” said Alonso. “We were all expecting a wet free practice session, but the weather stayed on the dry side, so we completed our normal programme.
“The car felt good straight away in FP1 and I think there is more pace to come as we didn’t quite put everything together. That gives me confidence heading into qualifying tomorrow so hopefully we should be in for a competitive weekend.”