BWT Alpine F1 Team began its preparations for this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a productive day's Practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Esteban Ocon finished the day eighth in the overall classification - 0.6seconds from the top - and Fernando Alonso eleventh - 0.8secs adrift - as both drivers steadily built up their confidence on the fast, thrilling yet ever demanding 6.174km street circuit.
Esteban Ocon: "We completed our planned Friday programme and did not encounter any issues. The more we spend time on track the more we understand the balance, the different compounds and we were able to see how the car behaves in the evening, as the track is much quicker in those conditions. It was a good day of learning in that respect and the key will be to get the car in that sweet spot for the night race. Overall, I'm happy and aiming to continue the momentum."
Fernando Alonso: "We have mainly focused on the race preparation so far this weekend and it has gone relatively smoothly for us on track. There is also more performance in the car than we showed today, so that's encouraging for tomorrow. It's a challenging circuit to qualify on with such high speeds and high adrenaline. The new cars felt good on this track and not too dissimilar to last year. I think the overall lap times looked quite competitive too. From just today's running it looks as though this generation of Formula 1 car is perhaps better suited to this track than what we found in Bahrain."
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: "Today, we ran through a normal Friday programme. Jeddah is a very challenging circuit. Not only is it tough for the drivers, who have to be absolutely focused for the entire lap as there's no room for any lapse in concentration at the wheel, but it's also a good challenge for the engineers in setting the car up, managing things like traffic and communicating quickly to the drivers. A lot of our focus today has been on the tyres and assessing how they are operating. There was some front tyre degradation, so that's something for us to take a look at in preparation for Sunday's race. The car has run well today, and it feels a little more together than this time last weekend. It's tight out there again on the leaderboard, and we aim to extract everything tomorrow to be at the right end of a very close pack."
Check out our Friday gallery from Jeddah, here.