Formula 1

Esteban Ocon: “We’ll need to be at our best tomorrow to have a good result in Qualifying”

2 Mins read
Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

Esteban Ocon was pleased with the performance of the BWT Alpine F1 Team across the two free practice sessions in Abu Dhabi on Friday, with the Frenchman ending the day seventh fastest under the floodlights at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Ocon started the day by setting the twelfth best time in the afternoon session but found improvements in the second hour of running, and he was happy with the knowledge they learned with regards to the soft and medium compounds of tyre.

Heading into Saturday’s running, Ocon says it is important to get everything they can out of the car to get a good spot on the grid, but he is confident they can be competitive this weekend.

“It’s always a pleasure to drive under the lights in Abu Dhabi, and the last Friday of the season was a solid one for us,” said Ocon.  “There were some good overall improvements from FP1 to FP2, and we gained a good understanding of the Soft and Medium tyres in both sessions.

“It was a positive day overall but it’s only Practice and we’ll need to be at our best tomorrow to have a good result in Qualifying.

“It’s not the easiest track on the calendar for overtaking so we’ll need to work hard tonight to ensure we’re in a good position ahead of the last Qualifying session of the year.”

“The balance still needs a little bit of work” – Fernando Alonso

Team-mate Fernando Alonso, competing in his final event with Alpine before he moves to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in 2023, missed out on running in the opening session as Jack Doohan took part instead, but the Spaniard was quickly up to pace when he did get on track.

Alonso ended the day eighth fastest, just behind Ocon, with the two-time World Champion admitting there is still work to do to get the balance of the A522 to his liking.   However, he is enjoying every last moment he has with the team before he departs it after Sunday’s race.

“It’s the last Friday of the year and there was obviously a little less Practice time for me today than normal, after Jack [Doohan] took over in Free Practice 1,” said Alonso.  “I was more or less up to speed straight away and adapted to the car in the evening session and we completed our programme smoothly.

“However, the balance still needs a little bit of work so that we can have a comfortable car for tomorrow in Qualifying.

“Every day feels like a last day, so I’m trying to enjoy every moment with the team.”

Fernando Alonso is competing in his last weekend with Alpine in Abu Dhabi – Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team
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