Alpine had a very encouraging Friday – especially Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard initially finished 3rd in FP1 and followed that up with a 4th place in FP2. With Charles Leclerc’s starting penalty, it’s possible that Alonso can use this pace to put himself in front of the consistently third-best Mercedes.
Esteban OconFriday was significantly more challenging than that of his teammate. He finished 15th in FP1, a session where he was interrupted by a plastic bag that got stuck in his tyre, and then 10th in FP2. But Ocon had a good season, finishing in the points in all but two races. One of those two happened as a result of a penalty he received in two separate Lewis Hamilton incidents. Interestingly, he had also received a 5 second penalty at Imola for an unsafe clearance involving himself and Lewis Hamilton.
Additionally, the Frenchman has a good record in Canada, scoring points both times he has raced there, finishing sixth in 2017 and ninth in 2018. As for the car, the A522 seems to suit Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve very well. These aspects bode well for Alpine who would be hoping for an even better rest of the weekend. And they certainly could be in one.
also read: “We do not know how the asphalt has developed,” says Esteban Ocon “concerns” after the absence of Formula 1 in Montreal
Fernando Alonso on Friday: “It was a good experience.”
It seems the A522 has high tire degradation, which is why Fernando Alonso ran the long-run simulations with hard tires instead of Red Bull’s preferred medium. In fact, he was 2 tenths faster than Max Verstappen on the long runs. That must be a very encouraging statistic for Alpine.
In his interview published on Formula 1’s official website, Fernando Alonso seemed satisfied with his performance in the practice sessions, but stressed that collecting more data is imperative given that Formula 1 has not raced in Montreal since 2019 and because of the possibility of rain.
“I think it was another decent Friday for us today. The car seems to be doing quite well at this demanding track here in Montreal. We haven’t raced in Canada for a few years and it feels a bit different than previous years.”
“Things like driving the curbs feel very different with the ground effect cars. Overall today was a good experience. It looks like there could be a mixed weather forecast tomorrow so we tried to collect as much data as possible in preparation for the race.”
his teammate, Esteban Ocon also gave his thoughts on the day:
“It feels good for me to be back in Montreal and to be driving here after four years. Today it was about getting the track under control and understanding it again. It’s important to set the car up and optimize it for a track like this as much as possible and I think we made good use of both sessions today.”
Ocon was upset that a plastic bag got stuck in his tires but concluded it was indeed a productive day for the team and they want a competitive car.
“As it stands we have a competitive car so hopefully we can make the most of the opportunities.”
Alpine hasn’t made it onto the podium yet this season, but Canada looks like an equally good place to try. Fernando Alonso seems like the most likely candidate.
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https://firstsportz.com/f1-news-fernando-alonso-and-esteban-ocon-optimistic-about-the-canadian-grand-prix/ “Feels good to be back,” Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon look optimistically at the Canadian GP » FirstSportz