BWT Alpine F1 Team completed its final Friday practice of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, as preparations for the season finale got underway in Abu Dhabi.
Alpine Academy Driver Jack Doohan took the reins of Fernando Alonso’s A522 in Free Practice 1, completing his second-ever Formula 1 session for the team. The Australian, who is also competing in the final round of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend, finished his session in nineteenth position, whilst Esteban Ocon slotted into twelfth place on the timing sheet.
As the floodlights came on for Free Practice 2, Fernando returned to the cockpit and alongside Esteban completed a solid evening practice session. Esteban finished in seventh position with a lap time of 1min 26.038secs and Fernando was just behind him in eighth, with less than a tenth of a second separating the pair.
“It’s always a pleasure to drive under the lights in Abu Dhabi, and the last Friday of the season was a solid one for us. There were some good overall improvements from FP1 to FP2, and we gained a good understanding of the Soft and Medium tyres in both sessions. It was a positive day overall but it’s only Practice and we’ll need to be at our best tomorrow to have a good result in Qualifying. It’s not the easiest track on the calendar for overtaking so we’ll need to work hard tonight to ensure we’re in a good position ahead of the last Qualifying session of the year.”
“It’s the last Friday of the year and there was obviously a little less Practice time for me today than normal, after Jack [Doohan] took over in Free Practice 1. I was more or less up to speed straight away and adapted to the car in the evening session and we completed our programme smoothly. However, the balance still needs a little bit of work so that we can have a comfortable car for tomorrow in Qualifying. Every day feels like a last day, so I’m trying to enjoy every moment with the team.”
Matt Harman, Chassis Technical Director
“Overall, it’s been a relatively smooth day for us on-track in the final Friday Practice of the year. It was great to have Jack back in the car for the first session. He did a great job on two sets of Soft tyres and we look forward to seeing him behind the wheel again on Tuesday. For FP2, we ran a fairly conventional session in preparation for the rest of the weekend. We still have more work ahead of us, but I’d like to extend a message of thanks to all the engineering teams at Viry and Enstone for their hard work this season in developing a completely new car. I’ve been proud of everyone’s efforts and look forward to seeing what we can achieve on car development in 2023!”