BWT Alpine F1 Team returned to the top ten with both cars as Pierre Gasly qualified seventh and Esteban Ocon eighth for Sunday’s Qatar Airways Qatar Grand Prix.
After finishing today’s Free Practice 1 with Esteban in fifteenth and Pierre sixteenth under challenging gusty and sandy conditions, both drivers looked to find improvements for Friday night Qualifying.
Esteban and Pierre progressed through Q1 in seventh and eighth place before advancing into Q3 with an improvement to sixth and seventh place. In Q3, Pierre’s second lap on new Softs, a 1min 24.553secs, was good enough for seventh position with Esteban just 0.210secs behind in eighth. It marks a positive Friday for the team as focus turns to Saturday’s Sprint Day with points on offer in tomorrow night’s fourth Sprint Race of the season, which begins at 20:30 local time.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P15, 1:28.732secs, 25 laps
Pierre, P16, 1:28.821secs, 23 laps
Esteban, P8, 1:25.711secs
Pierre, P7, 1:25.566secs
Esteban, P7, 1:24.928secs
Pierre, P6, 1:24.918secs
Esteban, P8, 1:24.763secs
Pierre, P7, 1:24.553secs
Esteban Ocon: “It’s great to be back driving in Qatar and it’s been a good day for the team with both cars in Q3 in Qualifying. Our day started with a busy Free Practice session and I think we optimised the changes well to head into Qualifying in a good place on car balance. The team did a very good job in turning things around quickly in such tough conditions and everyone has managed the sessions well today. We are in a good starting position for Sunday’s race but now our focus turns to the Sprint Shootout and Sprint Race where there is a chance to grab valuable points.”
Pierre Gasly: “I am very happy to be back in Q3. Right from the start of the day, I have had a good feeling with the car and felt in a good place where I feel I could push the car to the limit straight away. I put in a strong lap in Q2, same in Q3 and in the end it’s put us in a solid spot on the grid for Sunday. It’s been a strong Friday for the team overall and hopefully we can convert it into points over the next two days. The field is tight, much tighter than I thought it would be, so we will see what we can do to close down some of the cars ahead. It’s the Sprint tomorrow and the aim is to have another solid day right from the get-go here in Qatar.”