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British GP: Qualifying team notes - Alpine

NEWS STORY
02/07/2022

BWT Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso seventh and Esteban Ocon fifteenth on the grid after a wet Qualifying at a packed-out Silverstone.

Fernando made it four consecutive Q3 appearances while Esteban could count himself unfortunate to drop out of qualifying in Q2, as a result of a power loss relating to a battery cooling issue during the session.

Inconsistent weather at Silverstone has made track running challenging throughout the weekend with a mixed day yesterday repeated with a dry Free Practice 3 held earlier on Saturday before a washed-out afternoon Qualifying.

Both drivers made it through Q1 after a series of laps on Intermediates with Fernando ending in tenth with a lap time of 1min 41.598secs and Esteban twelfth less than 0.2secs behind.

Conditions grew worse for Q2 with laps set at the beginning of the session proving crucial for any chance of advancing to the top ten. Fernando progressed on a 1min 42.209secs with Esteban missing out in fifteenth after suffering a battery issue in the session.

Aiming to repeat his heroics in Canada last time out, Fernando rose to first place after his first lap in Q1 before settling for third place as others completed competitive laps. The weather was set to be at its worse at the end of the session as Fernando's final lap time of 1min 42.116secs proving good enough for seventh place.

Esteban Ocon: "It's been one of those tricky days for us today. A battery-related loss of power at the beginning of Q2 stopped us from being competitive in the session and we were out in fifteenth, which is not great ahead of tomorrow's race. I'm still positive, though, as we've started from further down this year and scored points, so the goal will be the same tomorrow. We're looking into the issue now and I trust that the team will get on top of it, and we'll be in good shape for the race. We can overtake here at Silverstone, so we'll have to take all available opportunities to have a decent result."

Fernando Alonso: "There was more to come today and unfortunately we didn't maximise our last laps in Q3. On my first lap in Q3 we were in first, so it was going pretty well. Then, we crossed the line for our last lap with the battery nearly empty, so we couldn't unlock the full potential. I feel like we could have perhaps qualified inside the top five today. Tomorrow, we don't know if it will rain or not, so let's see if we can maximise our position and score points. The car feels good in the wet and dry and all of the data from the factory shows we've made a good step forward with our upgrades this weekend."

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: "It's been quite a challenging weekend in Silverstone so far with the mixed weather conditions. Today, we feel slightly disappointed in our qualifying result as, not only do we have two drivers who relish wet weather, but also a race car that has proved in the past to be competitive in the rain like we saw in Canada two weeks ago. Fernando probably had the potential to be a couple of places higher with Q3 a matter of being on a fast lap at the right time, while Esteban was unfortunate with the battery being too cold for optimal performance. That said, we always look forwards and points are awarded on Sundays and we have a long race tomorrow, which will no doubt provide some good opportunities for both cars to progress. We're happy with the upgrades on the car, we've managed to gather some further understanding and data on those with the dry running we've completed at times this weekend. We're looking forward to tomorrow's race where the aim will be to have both cars inside the top ten at the chequered flag and I can see no reason why that aim is not achievable."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone here.

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