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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine warn of 'more to come' after strong opening day in Jeddah

After mixed fortunes at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Alpine caught the eye during Friday's practice sessions in Saudi Arabia, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly ending FP2 in fourth and sixth respectively.

Gasly Saudi
To news overview © XPBimages

Alpine are expecting "more to come" from them after a strong display during Friday's practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for the team at the season-opening race in Bahrain, with Pierre Gasly ascending through the field from the back of the grid to score points, while Esteban Ocon had a nightmare day following a hat-trick of penalties.

However, it looked like a solid start for the squad in Jeddah. Free Practice 2 ended with Ocon in an eye-catching P4 and Gasly close behind in P6, leaving both drivers feeling positive about the weekend ahead.

Ocon and Gasly anticipate more to come from Alpine

"It's nice to come back to a track like Jeddah as it's a really fast and thrilling street circuit, which forces everyone to be on their toes at all times," Ocon said after FP2.

"Our Friday was productive where we tried different things, which will help us in both qualifying and race conditions. So far, the car feels strong, and I think there is more we can extract ahead of tomorrow evening's qualifying.

"The team did a great job today to get through the programme and we will be working hard tonight to be in a good place for tomorrow. All in all, it’s been a good day at the office."

Gasly similarly believes that there is more to come from Alpine on Saturday.

"It's great to be back here in Jeddah at this very fast and exciting race track," the Frenchman commented.

"It's been a busy day for us as we continue to learn about our 2023 package and, I must say, I've been pleased with today's work. After two weeks in Bahrain, it's nice to be taking on a new track and a new challenge.

"It's very high-speed here and there's a lot you have to get right to be quick. The car feels good, we have a good idea on the set-up direction we want to take and there's more to come from us this weekend.

"My focus is on working hard with the engineers to make sure we're well prepared for qualifying and returning with a better performance than we showed last time out."

Alpine expecting better qualifying performance than Bahrain

Given the difficulties that the team faced in qualifying in Bahrain – with Gasly being eliminated in Q1 – Alpine Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry is confident that they can have a better Saturday this time around.

"It's been a reasonable Friday practice for the team today here in Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix," Fry said.

"For us, it's been interesting to see the car on a completely different circuit to what we've seen so far this year, as the characteristics here steer towards lower downforce with lots of high-speed corners.

"We're pleased with our work today with both drivers offering similar feedback on the directions to take on set-up, which leaves us in decent shape for the rest of the weekend.

"We have plenty of data to work through to prepare ourselves for tomorrow's qualifying where we aim for a much-improved performance from Bahrain to set ourselves up for a better race on Sunday. A solid start with more to come."

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken as they discuss all the key talking points ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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