Fernando Alonso feels the Alpine F1 Team are looking ‘quite competitive’ this weekend at the Circuit Paul Ricard, with the Spaniard ending the opening day of practice fourth fastest overall.
Alonso placed seventh fastest in the morning session but was less than half a second down on the outright pace when practice continued in the afternoon, with his time of 1:33.340 putting him inside the top four.
And the two-time World Champion says they’ll be doing everything they can to convert their Friday pace into a strong performance across Saturday’s Qualifying session and Sunday’s race in France.
“We faced quite tricky conditions today with some strong winds and high track temperatures, but I think we can be quite pleased with what we managed to achieve from Friday practice,” said Alonso.
“We tested a few items in FP1 and then we followed our programme for the afternoon in FP2 with some decent mileage clocked. We’ll analyse all of our data now and this evening, but so far I think we look quite competitive here so let’s see how we go tomorrow.”
“The aim is to keep working hard and consolidate this pace” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Esteban Ocon proved that Alpine are on the pace so far this weekend by ending the afternoon session sixth, having been fifth in the morning’s running.
Ocon, fresh off the announcement of his contract with Alpine being extended through to 2024 earlier this week, felt it was a solid day behind the wheel of the A521 on Friday, and it was made even sweeter by the fact there were some Formula 1 fans in attendance.
And now he hopes the team can consolidate their performance to give him a good shot at scoring good points in his home Grand Prix.
“Today’s practice has been solid,” said Ocon. “We’re back into the top ten for the moment, but we know it’s still early days.
“Both cars have good pace – that’s promising – and the aim is to keep working hard and consolidate this pace. The car feels good and the team has been working hard on that. There are, of course, areas to improve, and there’s more performance to find.
“It’s fantastic to be back racing in France, at home, and even better to see fans in the grandstands. Hopefully there will be even more fans tomorrow and Sunday and I look forward to seeing them.”