Strong Qualifying Performance From Alpine In Austria

Austrian Grand Prix 2022 - Alpine F1 Team
Austrian Grand Prix 2022 - Alpine F1 Team

BWT Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow’s second Sprint Qualifying of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season with Esteban Ocon sixth on the grid and Fernando Alonso ninth after a strong Friday Qualifying in Austria.

It’s the team’s fifth Q3 appearance with both cars this year with all eyes now on tomorrow’s 24-lap Sprint Qualifying around the short but fast Spielberg circuit.

With only one practice session to prepare the cars earlier in the day, the team opted to run Pirelli’s Medium tyres during Free Practice 1, saving Softs for Qualifying and the remainder of the weekend.

Both drivers showed promising pace right from the start of Q1 with Fernando progressing in fourth place and Esteban in thirteenth, well inside the cut-off spots.

In Q2, Esteban improved from a 1min 06.488secs on his first run to a 1min 05.993secs on his penultimate lap to go through to Q3 in eighth place. Fernando too made Q3 – for the ninth time of the season – slightly adrift of his team-mate.

Esteban continued to show improvements and his lap time of 1min 05.779secs in Q3 saw him knocking on the door of the top six. Fernando ran wide at Turn 1 on his opening effort and sustained damage to the left-hand side of the floor on his A522.

After the first red flag for Lewis Hamilton, Fernando set a 1min 06.103secs to move into seventh, behind Esteban. A second red flag for George Russell delayed proceedings further before Esteban improved his time by 0.053secs to cement sixth with Fernando putting in a 1min 06.103secs to take ninth place.

Tomorrow’s Sprint Qualifying begins at 16:30pm local time with Free Practice 2 held earlier in the day at 12:30pm.

Esteban Ocon

“I’m very pleased with our Qualifying result today finishing in sixth place. It felt like the car really came alive during Q2 and Q3 after a fairly challenging Free Practice and Q1. We’re in a good position for the Sprint Qualifying tomorrow and hopefully we can firstly solidify our grid position for the main race and secondly take some valuable points. There is room to improve, and we still need to assess the car on high fuel, which we’ll do in tomorrow’s Free Practice 2. I’m feeling optimistic that we can have two good races and, in order to do so, we must remain focused.”

Fernando Alonso

“The car felt very competitive today and it was good to be in Q3 again. However, I had a broken floor after I ran wide on my first lap in Q3, so we lost some performance with the damage. I think before that damage occurred, we were looking at the top five or six positions today, which would have been great for the Sprint tomorrow. From ninth place, our aim will be to recover some places tomorrow, which I’m sure we can achieve. Generally, it’s been a competitive Friday for us, so I’m hopeful we can have some fun in Sprint Qualifying and in the race on Sunday afternoon and claim some big points.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director

“We can be relatively happy with today’s Qualifying performance with Esteban in sixth and Fernando in ninth. Looking at how the session progressed, I think sixth and seventh was probably the best we could have achieved had things panned out in our favour, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Esteban has been solid today and improved lap after lap, session by session, which built him up nicely through to his last run in Q3. Fernando can count himself slightly unfortunate after damaging the floor during his first run in Q3, which compromised some performance. We will, of course, be able to repair that ahead of tomorrow’s Sprint. We’re happy with how the car has performed today and we’re in a great position to score points with both cars in tomorrow’s Sprint Qualifying and Sunday’s race.”

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