Fernando Alonso Up To P3 In Spa Qualifying Shuffle

Belgian Grand Prix 2022 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522 sends sparks flying. Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday 27th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
Belgian Grand Prix 2022 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522 sends sparks flying. Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday 27th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

BWT Alpine F1 Team qualified with Esteban Ocon fifth and Fernando Alonso sixth for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after a strong Saturday showing at Spa-Francorchamps.

Both drivers demonstrated slick teamwork to deliver a repeat Qualifying result from the last race in Hungary – where Esteban also qualified fifth and Fernando sixth – by exchanging slipstreams in Sector 1 across each other’s push laps.

In Q3, Esteban set a lap time of 1min 45.180secs, with Fernando managing a tactical tow, before Esteban returned the favour on Fernando’s push lap as he qualified on a 1min 45.368secs. Fernando will start tomorrow’s 44-lap race from third on the grid as a result of engine penalties across the grid, including a grid drop for Esteban, who will start from seventeenth.

Both drivers showed excellent pace throughout Saturday, comfortably progressing through Q1 with Esteban in ninth and Fernando in tenth. In Q2, both drivers progressed in seventh and eighth, with Esteban helping Fernando with a tow to ensure he progressed to Q3 for the seventh race in a row.

Esteban Ocon

“It’s been a good day for the team and I’m very happy with today’s result. Everything seemed to click this afternoon and the team did a fantastic job with the car and made all the right calls today, so a very well done to them. Fifth place is my equal-best qualifying result of the season, so it’s a bit of a pity to have the grid penalty for tomorrow’s race but we’ve got the package to still get a decent result tomorrow. Fernando will start in third, and I will give it my all to make my way up the grid and bring home some deserved points for the team. I can’t wait to go racing and give the Belgian fans a good Grand Prix, they deserve it!”

Fernando Alonso

“I am happy with our performance today and it’s a positive result for the team with both cars qualifying inside the top six positions. We gave each other the tow during the session, and it worked really well. It will be exciting tomorrow and, like in Canada, it’s another opportunity to attack inside the top three at the start. Tomorrow, I want a clean race to capitalise on this position. We’ll be wary of those behind us, as there are some fast cars starting towards the back of the grid. We’ll be aiming to be in the top five or six positions by the chequered flag.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director

“We’re very happy with today’s performance in Qualifying with Esteban fifth, Fernando sixth and, importantly, ahead of our rivals. What pleases me most is the teamwork by everyone today, including both drivers who did a great job in executing our plan. Esteban does have a power unit penalty for tomorrow, which means he starts close to the back of the grid, but, with others doing the same, Fernando will start in third place and has an excellent chance for a good result. There are faster cars behind us – Max [Verstappen] and Charles [Leclerc] – but we’ll remain focused on our race and remain vigilant to beat those with who we are really competing on track. We’ll be doing everything we can to maximise our points haul in tomorrow’s race. That’s our objective and I believe scoring with both cars is possible.”


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