BWT Alpine F1 Team made a welcome return to Q3 with both cars as Fernando Alonso qualified ninth and Esteban Ocon tenth ahead of tomorrow’s Mexico City Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Esteban was able to cruise through to Q3 in Mexico City, joining Fernando in the top 10 shootout for the team’s ninth double Q3 appearance of the season.
Both drivers were well matched throughout Qualifying, as they progressed from Q1 split by just 0.054secs and then through Q2 by 0.191secs.
Esteban ran on used Softs for his first attempt in Q3 with Fernando opting to run out of sync on new Softs with his lap – a 1min 18.939secs – putting him in ninth place. Esteban then set a 1min 19.010secs on his run on new tyres for tenth place.
Tomorrow’s 71-lap Grand Prix begins at 14:00pm local time.
“It’s a good team Qualifying result with both Fernando and I inside the top ten, which is always our minimum goal. We did well to maximise the potential of the car today even though I think there was a bit of performance left on the table in Q3 after a solid Q1 and Q2. Nevertheless, it’s all very close, we’re in the mix for points, and we know tomorrow will be a fight. We’ll need to be at our best as a team to come out with good points from the race. I know we’ll be ready for all possibilities.”
“It was a little bit more difficult than expected today but we are still quite pleased to be in ninth position on the grid for tomorrow’s race. It’s good we are on the clean side of the grid and just behind Lando [Norris]. In general, I didn’t feel that fast and struggled with the balance of the car. I was tenth in Q2 and so I think ninth was potentially our maximum today. With the unique temperatures and altitude of this race, we can’t take anything for granted. That’s the same for everyone this weekend and we’ll do our best to take points at the chequered flag.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director
“On the face of it, we feel we could have done marginally better than ninth and tenth in Qualifying. That said, we can draw on the positives as both cars are back in Q3 and, importantly, we’re well placed for our championship battle. Esteban showed good improvements from Free Practice 3 from earlier today to put himself into Q3, recovering well from last weekend’s disappointment. We decided to run Fernando in the middle of the session in Q3 on a clear track and I think that worked out quite well for him. Tomorrow’s race will certainly be challenging, as it always is at this circuit, as it’s tough on the brakes, power unit and cooling systems. First we need to see the chequered flag and we’ll count on our strong race pace from both drivers to consolidate our championship position.”