Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow’s Dutch Grand Prix with both cars inside the top ten following a red flag-interrupted qualifying session around the rolling dunes of the Circuit Zandvoort.
Esteban Ocon continued his and Alpine’s strong form this weekend with eighth on the grid thanks to a lap of 1min 09.933secs. Fernando was just two hundredths of a second adrift and lines up ninth for his first-ever race in the Netherlands.
The first segment of qualifying got underway in front of the packed, passionate grandstand. Fernando completed one run to ease through to Q2 in twelfth position while Esteban improved on a second lap to pass through in seventh.
Both drivers had executed one run before a red flag was dropped for an incident involving the Williams of George Russell. Esteban was slightly quicker with a 1min 09.919secs, enough for eighth position, and Fernando ninth with a 1min 10.020secs. Luck smiled on the pair as the session was aborted shortly after it resumed and they progressed to Q3 on the times set on the first run.
Q3 started with some delay, however, after an initial run, Esteban and Fernando headed out on new Soft tyres to secure the fourth double top ten start for Alpine F1 Team since the start of the season.
Q1: Fernando P12, 1:10.435; Esteban P7, 1:10.179
Q2: Fernando P9, 1:10.020; Esteban P8, 1:09.919
Q3: Fernando P9, 1:09.956; Esteban P8, 1:09.933
Esteban Ocon, #31, A521-04, Q: P8, 1:09.933, FP3: P13, 1:11.180
“I think it’s been a good qualifying for us today. I felt good out there, with the car performing at its best and I think we maximised everything we had in hand today. We had some improvements to make after FP3 and we worked very hard in the break to do so. We would like to be further up the grid, of course, but we have the race tomorrow to push on and aim to score points. As a team, having both cars in the top ten is a decent result. The atmosphere out there was amazing, and the fans have been really special all weekend. I could hear the cheering on the straight, which was cool and hopefully we can look forward to putting on a show tomorrow.”
Fernando Alonso, #14, A521-06, Q: P9, 1:09.956, FP3: P5, 1:10.670
“Overall it was a good day for us as both cars made it into Q3. We managed to save one set of tyres in Q1 but because of the red flag in Q2 our brave move didn’t pay off as others regained the ground. Then in Q3 it was very close between a number of cars. We will try to do some overtakes at the start and see where we end up after the first few laps. After that, I think it’s going to be difficult to overtake. It will be a challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it.”
Davide Brivio, Racing Director: “A positive day for us, with both cars through into Q3. It was a difficult session to manage with the red flags, but the team did very well in the situation. We were quite pleased with the performance today overall, even though Esteban struggled a little bit in the morning. Everyone did a good job to put him into Q3, and also on Fernando’s side. Tomorrow we know it won’t be easy to gain positions, but anything can happen, especially with safety cars or red flags as we have already seen on several occasions this weekend. We are in a good position so we will try our best to make the most of any opportunity.”
Alpine extends points streak after Fernando’s sixth place in Russia
Alpine F1 Team extended its points-scoring streak to fourteen races as Fernando Alonso finished in sixth place in a busy and eventful Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. Esteban Ocon was outside the points in fourteenth place.
2021 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Saturday
Alpine F1 Team qualified for tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso in sixth and Esteban Ocon tenth after a thrilling wet to dry Saturday Qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom. The result is the team’s fifth Q3 appearance with both cars this season.