BWT Alpine F1 Team finished with both drivers inside the top five on the timesheet in Free Practice today as preparations began for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix; the penultimate race before Formula 1’s summer break.
After a wet opening session where both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly did not set a representative lap time, conditions were much improved for Free Practice 2 in the Hungarian capital. Pierre ended the day in third place with a lap time of 1min 17.918secs, with Esteban just over 0.1secs adrift in fifth place.
In FIA Formula 2, the Alpine Academy have locked out the front row for Sunday’s Feature Race with Jack Doohan on pole position and Victor Martins in second place. Tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 begins at 12:30 local time, before Qualifying at 16:00.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P17, No Time Set
Pierre, P18, No Time Set
Free Practice 2
Esteban, P5, 1:18.045secs, 30 laps
Pierre, P3, 1:17.918secs, 26 laps
Esteban Ocon: “It’s always emotional to drive around this circuit with all the great memories we’ve had here. It’s been a decent day for us, which started with a rain interrupted first session. In the afternoon, we had some good running in Free Practice 2 with the car feeling good overall, and we managed to stick to our programme without any issues. There are some things for us to work on but, overall, we have potential and I hope we will be in good shape for tomorrow. Qualifying will be interesting with the new mandatory tyre choice for each segment so we’ll prepare the best we can for that. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can do on this track and we’re fully focused on delivering a good result for the team.”
Pierre Gasly: “It’s been a solid Friday in Budapest with the one meaningful session in Free Practice 2. I’m happy with today’s work and it’s always nice to be inside the top three on the leaderboard. Free Practice 1 was not representative in the wet conditions where we ran a couple of install laps. The car felt good and consistent and we have a couple of things to work on to find more lap time ahead of tomorrow’s important Qualifying session. We will keep our heads down, keep working hard as a team as there is a long way to go this weekend where our end objective is to come away with as many points as possible.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: “We can be satisfied with our start to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend where both cars have run consistently and competitively during Practice today. We have a new circuit-specific front wing here, which has worked to expectations and, overall, our package seems well suited to the demands of the Hungaroring. We will keep working hard as a team to put ourselves in a strong position for Qualifying on Saturday afternoon; an all-important session given the nature of the track. Both drivers are pleased with today’s work and look forward to extracting more performance from the car when it counts.”