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British GP: Sprint team notes - Alpine

NEWS STORY
17/07/2021

Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix with both cars inside the top ten on the grid after a sensational Sprint Qualifying performance from Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

Fernando put in an epic drive throughout the 17 laps, the first-ever Sprint Qualifying race in Formula 1, 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.

Esteban 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. Esteban too had to put in an impressive defensive shift to hold off Gasly and a charging Sainz at the chequered flag.

The 52-lap British Grand Prix will start at 15:00 local time tomorrow in front of a sell-out crowd.

Esteban Ocon: "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."

Fernando Alonso: "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."

Davide Brivio, Racing Director: "It was an exciting race for us, so a very positive Sprint qualifying all in all! We decided to start with new Softs, which was a calculated risk, but a good choice from the team. Fernando definitely made the most of the strategy; he did an incredible first lap, gaining six positions in half a lap and then he fought all the way through the race. With Esteban we also moved up a few positions, which is important for the actual Grand Prix tomorrow. It was a good job from the drivers and also the whole team and now we need to try to consolidate our positions tomorrow."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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