Alpine Racing F1 Brazil GP - Esteban Ocon excels in sprint qualifying

Alpine Racing F1 Brazil GP - Esteban Ocon excels in sprint qualifying

14.11.2021: SÃO PAULO GRAND PRIX, Brazil Autodromo José Carlos Pace 12th – 14th November 2021 Saturday, November 13th 2021 Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow’s São Paulo Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon eighth and Fernando Alonso twelfth on the grid after an

SÃO PAULO GRAND PRIX, Brazil
Autodromo José Carlos Pace
12th – 14th November 2021
Saturday,  November 13th 2021




Alpine F1 Team will start tomorrow’s São Paulo Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon eighth and Fernando Alonso twelfth on the grid after an exciting Sprint Qualifying at Interlagos.



Both drivers opted for differing strategies for the third ever Sprint Qualifying in Formula 1 history, with Esteban starting from tenth on Softs and Fernando in ninth on Mediums.



Esteban was quick out the blocks and gained two places during the opening lap after a bold and well executed move at Turns 1 and 2.



Meanwhile, Fernando – the star of the Silverstone Sprint in July – couldn’t recover from a difficult start and dropped outside the top ten positions on lap one.



A lap later, Fernando faced the two battling Alfa Romeos into Turn 1 and narrowly avoided the pair. He momentarily moved up to eleventh after a smooth pass on Antonio Giovinazzi, but a fast charging Lewis Hamilton took the position back with an overtake into Turn 1 on lap 8.



Esteban fell victim to the rocket Mercedes a few laps later and dropped down to ninth. For the remainder of the Sprint he managed his pace very well and secured ninth position at the chequered flag, but he will inherit eighth on the grid tomorrow with Hamilton’s five-place grid penalty.




Esteban Ocon, #31, A521-04
FP2: P4, 1:12.407, 26 laps
Sprint Qualifying: Started P10, finished P9


Esteban:
“Today was good and I think we had a strong Sprint Qualifying. I was happy with how the whole Sprint unfolded and we’ve put ourselves in a solid position on the grid for tomorrow.


After a mega launch off the line we gained a few places through Turns 1 and 2 and then we were putting pressure on the Alpha Tauri ahead for most of the race. It was very positive today and it’s promising signs ahead of tomorrow.

 

The car felt competitive so the aim will be to carry that forward for the main race. Our race pace looks strong, we have another free choice on starting tyre for tomorrow so we’ll assess our options and see what we can do in the race.”




Fernando Alonso, #14, A521-06
FP2: P1, 1:11.238, 23 laps
Sprint Qualifying: Started P9, finished P12


Fernando:
“We started with the Medium tyres and maybe it wasn’t the best for the race start, but we decided as a team to split the strategy. We lost a few positions into turn one and then found ourselves stuck in traffic for the rest of the Sprint.


It’s difficult to overtake here and you need quite a big advantage to make progress. I think when you put the cars in performance order it’ll finish how you expect. And seeing Hamilton charge through the field it was perhaps more exciting for the fans to watch and shows what potentially could be done with the format.


The points are on offer tomorrow so we can’t be too disheartened with the result today. What is clear is we need to make sure our start is good as that can make a big impact on the race.”




Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
“On the whole, it was a good Sprint Qualifying for us. While converting ninth and tenth on the grid to ninth and twelfth at the flag doesn’t look particularly good, for our championship fight it’s very promising as the pace of the car looked much improved and competitive. Both drivers felt their cars were quick and they were happy with their set-ups.


We thought we would lose a place to Lewis [Hamilton] starting from the back, but he came through a lot quicker than we thought he would. Esteban had a flying start and from there he was tucked behind Pierre [Gasly] for the whole Sprint and with another two or three laps he felt he could have overtaken him. T


hat bodes well for tomorrow because it’s a longer race and there will be more opportunities to get past him. Today gives us a clue for tomorrow. Recently, the Alpha Tauri has been too quick for us and while they beat us today, we were right there with them. It’s important tomorrow to outscore them – that’s our objective - and we’ll be doing everything we can to do that.”

 



- Alpine also photos


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/alpine-racing-f1-brazil-gp-esteban-ocon-excels-sprint-qualifying---231261.html

14.11.2021 / MaP

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