BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Pierre Gasly reached Q3 for the second race in a row as he prepares to start Sunday’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in tenth place on the grid. Team-mate Esteban Ocon missed out on a Q3 spot by 0.113secs as he exited Q2 in twelfth place in a tight Qualifying under the lights at Yas Marina Circuit.
Both drivers advanced through Q1 by close margins; Esteban in fourteenth and Pierre just under the drop zone by 0.138secs in fifteenth.
Pierre’s lap in Q2, a 1min 24.078secs, proved enough to reach Q3 in fifth place while Esteban’s lap time of a 1min 24.391secs fell narrowly short of the top ten shootout by just over a tenth of a second.
In Q3, Pierre remained in tenth place on both laps on used and new Softs. His push lap on new was compromised by Oscar Piastri impeding on the run down to Turn 5.
Tomorrow’s season finale begins at 17:00 local time as BWT Alpine F1 Team closes out the 2023 season.
Esteban, P14, 1:24.565secs; Pierre, P15, 1:24.600secs
Esteban, P12, 1:24.391secs; Pierre, P5, 1:24.078secs
Pierre, P10, 1:24.548secs
Esteban Ocon: “The last Saturday of the season is over and we’ll start in twelfth place on the grid tomorrow. Obviously, it is has been a disrupted week for me, so I think we did well to make the most of what we had in our hands. We’ll all be pushing hard tomorrow to end the season on a positive note. It was a good but busy final Practice, trying to perfect our set up ahead of Qualifying, which started well and we had good pace to get through to Q2. Unfortunately, I did not have the best last run and we ended twelfth in the end, missing out of Q3 by just a tenth. We are not far from the points and even came from way further behind last week and into the points, so we will use that as motivation to fight for a top ten finish.”
Pierre Gasly: “I’m really pleased with today’s result. We knew it would be tight and very close to reach Q3 and it even proved challenging to make it out in Q1 such were the fine margins. My Q2 lap was very strong, I was happy with that as it meant we comfortably made the top ten. Q3 was slightly messy for us and I feel like we did not maximise the session. We will analyse what happened, what we can do better, but still, I was certainly satisfied to be in Q3 again. We’re starting in a good position for tomorrow and our target is to get some points. It will be a tough race and it’s the last one of the year. I will give it my all and it would be good to end the season with a positive result.”