Fernando Alonso Stars In First-Ever Sprint Qualifying
The Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix with both cars inside the top ten on the grid after a sensational F1 Sprint Qualifying Race performance from both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
Alonso put in an epic drive throughout the 17 laps, moving from eleventh on the grid to fifth on the first lap thanks to an inspired strategy call of using Soft tyres, a super start, and, a strong first few corners. Using the tyres to his advantage on the opening laps, the Spaniard held position until the McLarens moved through by lap nine. He then held Sebastian Vettel at bay with some defensive driving and measured tyre management to claim seventh at the end of the race and a strong position for tomorrow’s race.
Meanwhile, Ocon also enjoyed a strong performance, moving from thirteenth on the grid to tenth at the chequered flag. The Frenchman also started on Softs and had a similarly impressive start into the first corner, passing Pierre Gasly off the line.
He inherited two further positions as a result of Carlos Sainz’s trip wide at Turn 6 and Sergio Perez’s pirouette at Turn 14. Ocon too had to put in an impressive defensive shift to hold off Gasly and a charging Sainz in the closing stages.
Fernando Alonso Has Fun With New Format
it was the Fernando Alonso of old in the sprint qualifying, elbows out and making some impressive moves, as the two-time World Champion showed what he is capable of in the Alpine.
“It was a good session for us today and I had a lot of fun. I think we made the right choice starting on the Soft tyres and it’s a better position to start the race tomorrow. Our start was good and I climbed quite a few places from eleventh to fifth in the first few corners. We then lost a few positions back to the McLarens and held onto seventh at the end. I think the format was fun but I am sure there are some small improvements we can make. We’ll aim to carry this momentum into the race tomorrow.”
Esteban Ocon Makes Gains
After qualifying in a disappointing 13th place, Esteban Ocon moved up three places to 10th, and is confident of a good points finish tomorrow.
“I’m pretty pleased with today’s Sprint Qualifying as we’ve gained three places for the race tomorrow and that means we’re starting in the top ten for tomorrow’s race. It’s where we felt we should be yesterday, so that’s positive. The call by the team to start on Softs was good and I had a quick start off the line to gain some positions. I enjoyed the new format; it was fun as it added some action and dynamism to the weekend as well as some uncertainty. Tomorrow we have a free choice of tyres again and that leaves the strategy box open with some flexibility on what we can do. We’re ready to race again and hopefully we can put on another show for the fans.”