Formula 1 | In Libre 1 and 2, Alpine F1 is still not presented at Paul Ricard

It was under the scorching sun of the south of France and with a trouble-free day of testing that the BWT Alpine F1 Team started their Grand Prix weekend at home at Circuit Paul Ricard today.

Fernando Alonso finished 11th, while local hero Esteban Ocon – competing in his third Formula 1 Grand Prix in France – finished 18th. Esteban who, for this race at home, is also running with a special helmet whose livery is the work of William, a 12-year-old Briton.

Both drivers ran on C4 (soft) tires in free practice 1, Esteban finishing thirteenth and Fernando fifteenth, before running on medium (C3) tires in free practice 2. The team also tested the latest changes made to the ‘A522, including a new floor. – during the two free practice sessions with the two cars.

The team now has its sights set on tomorrow’s last free practice, before qualifying, scheduled for 4 p.m.

Esteban Ocon: “First of all, I would like to emphasize how nice it is to drive in France again, in front of the home crowd. There is nothing better than racing at home and it is a great feeling to drive around the Paul Ricard circuit as a Frenchman and see so many fans already on Friday. In terms of today’s sessions, we tried different things in both cars. The goal was to collect a large amount of data. We’ve tested soft and medium compound tires, high and low fuel, and now have a good reading of the information that will allow us to make the right adjustments to the car for tomorrow. I’m sure there’s more to come…”

Fernando Alonso: “It was a difficult Friday for us, even more so because of the extremely hot conditions in France at the moment. We tried to adapt the car as best as possible to cope with these high temperatures and focused on tire management and cooling during the two test sessions. We are not entirely satisfied with the balance of the car so far and have to consider possible changes overnight. I am convinced that we can improve things and be in a good position for qualifying tomorrow, in front of our home crowd. »

Pat Fry, Chief Technology Officer: “Today was a day of free practice without worries, in what was the first day of the Grand Prix for the team at home. Conditions were extreme, with what is probably the hottest Friday of the season so far in terms of ambient temperature, adding some extra challenges. But we will have to overcome it to increase our level of performance. We made some improvements for this race, which both our drivers used in both sessions today. They have worked as expected and as always we will analyze the data collected before the rest of the weekend. We have another evolution to install on the car tomorrow, which should give us a performance boost. Both drivers face the same balance issues here and it’s clear we’re not where we want to be compared to our rivals. That said, our drivers have given us the same information, which gives us clear and common guidance on what improvements to make heading into qualifying, whose timesheets I believe will better reflect our level of performance »

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