French GP: Practice team notes - Alpine


BWT Alpine F1 Team started its home Grand Prix weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard today with a smooth day's Practice under the scorching sun in the south of France.

Fernando Alonso finished the day eleventh on the timesheets with home favourite Esteban Ocon - competing in France in Formula 1 for the third time - ending in eighteenth. Esteban is running with a special helmet for his home race, designed by 12-year-old Briton, William.

Both drivers ran with C4 (Soft) tyres in Free Practice 1, with Esteban finishing thirteenth and Fernando in fifteenth, before running Mediums (C3) in Free Practice 2. The team also trialled its latest upgrades to the A522, including a new floor flank during both practice sessions on both cars.

The team now shifts focus to the final practice session tomorrow, before Qualifying at 16:00 local time.

Esteban Ocon: "First of all, it's great to be driving in France again in front of the home crowd. There's nothing that beats racing at home and it's just a great feeling to drive around Circuit Paul Ricard as a French driver and already seeing so many fans on a Friday. In terms of the sessions today, we tried different things on both cars, and it was all about gathering a vast amount of data. We tried Soft and Medium compound tyres plus high and low fuel and we have a good read on information to make the right adjustments on the car for tomorrow. There's definitely more to come."

Fernando Alonso: "It was a challenging Friday for us especially driving in these extremely hot conditions in France. We tried to adapt the car as best as we could to deal with these high temperatures and focused on tyre management and cooling down during the two practice sessions. On reflection, we are not totally happy with the balance of the car so far and we need to look at some potential changes overnight. I'm confident we can improve things and be in good shape for Qualifying tomorrow in front of our home crowd."

Pat Fry, Chief Technical Officer: "It's been a trouble-free Practice for us today for the team's home Grand Prix. Conditions have been extremely hot, probably the warmest Friday of the season so far in terms of ambient temperature, which has certainly brought along a few challenges. We must get on top of these in order to improve our performance. We've brought some upgrades to this race with both drivers running those across both sessions today. They've worked as expected and, as ever, we'll assess the data ahead of the rest of the weekend. We have a further update to put on the car tomorrow as well, which should bring some additional performance. Both drivers are facing similar challenges on car balance here and, clearly, we're not where we want to be relative to our competitors. That said, with both drivers offering similar feedback, it gives us a clear, collective direction to make the right improvements for Qualifying where I'm confident the timesheets will better reflect our performance."

Check out our Friday gallery from Le Castellet here.

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Published: 22/07/2022
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