Alpine F1 Team started its preparation for the Canadian Grand Prix with a positive day. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon both cracked the top 10 on the timesheets at Montreal’s impressive Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
For the first Formula 1 visit to Montreal in three years, and as Fernando and Esteban found a Circuit Gilles Villeneuve which they had not surveyed since 2018, the team managed to put the cars and the drivers in tune. on this unique and semi-permanent track located on an artificial island.
Fernando enjoyed a good session in Free Practice 1, finishing in third place thanks to a solid lap on Pirelli Medium (C4) tyres.
During this first session, Esteban was hampered by debris stuck in his front-right brake scoop, which caused the brake in question to overheat. With the debris dislodged and the parts repaired, Esteban was able to get back on the trail.
Alpine F1 plays placed in Montreal
During the second session, the two drivers started with Soft tires (C5), and their best laps allowed them to invite themselves into the top 10: Fernando in fifth place and Esteban in tenth.
With an eye on the weather and the looming rain – which is expected to be the case throughout the weekend in Montreal – both sides of the garage ran on plenty of fuel with new Hard (C3) tires.
“It’s another prolific Friday for us” welcomes Alonso. “The car seems to perform quite well on this difficult track. We haven’t raced in Canada for a while and it’s a bit different from previous years.”
“The curbs feel very different with these cars generating a lot of ground effect. Overall it was a good experience. data as possible in preparation for the race.”
Ocon has a successful reunion with Canada
Esteban Ocon also finished in the top 10 during this first day, and the Frenchman is happy with his return to Montreal, and his quick understanding of the track: “It feels good to be back in Montreal and racing here after four years away, as far as I’m concerned.”
“The goal was to reconnect with the track and understand it. It’s important to set up the car and optimize it as best as possible for a track like this and I think we took good advantage of both sessions.”
“We were a bit unlucky at the start of FP1 with this plastic bag getting lodged in my right front brake, which cost us some time. But it was a productive day nonetheless. We avoided the rain for a few minutes only.”
“But it looks like it might rain tomorrow which could shake up the pecking order and make things interesting. From what I’ve seen we have a competitive car so hopefully we can make the most of the opportunities that come our way.”
Alpine F1 watches the rain
For Pat Fry, Technical Director, “It was a relatively prolific Friday for the team today, in both practice sessions.”
“The track, as expected, had little grip at first, but once some rubber got on it it improved a lot and we were able to go over our programs. Unfortunately Esteban caught a few debris on the track during the session which caused his right front brake to overheat, we were able to clean the part so he could get back on the track before stepping in again between sessions. benefited from a calmer afternoon. He was initially generally satisfied with his basic settings, which was felt on the time sheet. Esteban, after his misfortunes in EL1, was able to to build up momentum as the day progressed. Our long stints looked quite satisfying with both riders using hard tires late in session 2. We’ll be watching the weather closely as rain is expected throughout the weekend. , here in Montreal, and we could well attend a session of qualifying on a wet track.”