BWT Alpine F1 Team made it back-to-back Q3 appearances with both cars as Pierre Gasly qualified seventh and Esteban Ocon eighth for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
In the second consecutive Sprint weekend following Qatar a fortnight ago, the team looked to begin on the front foot in Austin. Pierre ended Friday’s sole practice session in tenth with Esteban close behind in twelfth.
Both drivers comfortably progressed through Q1 – Esteban in twelfth, Pierre thirteenth – before finding further improvements in Q2 to reach the top ten shootout for the second Qualifying in a row: Esteban through in fifth and Pierre in seventh.
In Q3 after initial runs on used Softs, Pierre ended in seventh with a lap time of 1:35.089secs with Esteban just 0.065secs adrift in eighth. Tomorrow is Sprint Saturday, with the Shootout at 12:30 local time before the Sprint Race at 17:00 where points are on offer.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P12, 1:37.066secs, 22 laps
Pierre, P10, 1:36.705secs, 22 laps
Esteban, P12, 1:36.131secs
Pierre, P13, 1:36.158secs
Esteban, P5, 1:35.413secs
Pierre, P7, 1:35.496secs
Esteban, P8, 1 35.154secs
Pierre, P7, 1:35.089secs
Esteban Ocon: “There was probably a bit more on the table today but, nonetheless, we are in a great starting position for Sunday’s race to able to fight for points. Our day started with a busy Free Practice session and we got through our programme without issues. We were able to turn things around quickly to be ready for Qualifying and the team did a great job to be on it right from the get-go and we managed things well to get through to Q3. Our focus now turns to the Sprint Shootout and Sprint Race where points are on offer so it will be important to carry this momentum into Saturday.”
Pierre Gasly: “It’s been a good Qualifying for us and our second Q3 appearance in a row after Qatar. I’m really happy with our performance today and the car felt very good right from the start of the day, which is important on Sprint weekends with only one Practice session. We made some improvements between Practice and Qualifying and from there everything flowed well for us. It was fine margins, less than a tenth between a few cars, and I felt I extracted pretty much everything from my Q3 lap. It’s always great to be fighting for the top positions. Tomorrow is the Sprint; we will be aiming for more of the same and hopefully be in contention to take some points.”