03 June 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team qualified with Pierre Gasly fourth – 0.082secs from the front row – and Esteban Ocon seventh in a tense and extremely close Qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Both cars were strong throughout a very competitive Saturday with a handful of drivers split by close margins throughout all three segments of Qualifying. Esteban and Pierre comfortably progressed through Q1 and Q2 running in and around the top five, before a strong lap from Pierre in the top 10 shootout saw him claim fourth place, with Esteban in seventh.
Two separate three place grid penalties added post-session for impeding mean Pierre will line-up in tenth and Esteban sixth for tomorrow’s 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix, which begins at 15:00 local time.
Esteban, P6, 1:13.433secs; Pierre, P7, 1:13.471secs
Esteban, P5, 1:13.001secs; Pierre, P9, 1:13.186secs
Esteban, P7, 1:12.816secs; Pierre, P4, 1:13.083secs
Esteban Ocon: “It’s been another positive day for us. A big shoutout to Enstone and Viry as the car has been strong again this weekend and the updates we have brought have been working well. We had both cars into Q3 which was the aim today so well done to the team for that achievement. We performed well all of Qualifying up until the last run in Q3 where I did not quite nail the lap and lost some valuable lap time. That said, seventh on the grid tomorrow is not a bad place to start and we will give it all to finish with some strong points. I also have to say it’s great to see a bit of a mix up on the grid ahead of the race. It’s great for the sport and I think we’ll have an exciting Sunday and of course we’ll be pushing for some good points.”
Pierre Gasly: “I’m very pleased to qualify in fourth place in Qualifying today, my best result with Alpine this season. It was very close out there, very fine margins between many cars, and in the end we’re just less than one tenth of a second from being on the front row. We built up our session well, kept finding improvements and then we finished with a very good lap in Q3, which was really enjoyable I must say. It’s a real pity we will not start from the second row tomorrow after the penalty for impeding. I think it was very unfortunate with the traffic, cars so close together and the high-speed final corners. We have to accept it, move on and keep our heads down for tomorrow where I know we can still have a strong race.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “We can all be satisfied with the performance of our cars today with Pierre qualifying in fourth and Esteban in seventh. The car has been strong all weekend – we had a solid day yesterday in preparation – and we knew we would be in a very close fight in the upper end of the Q3 and inside the top five. Esteban didn’t quite maximise his lap in Q3 and probably is a few places short of where his pace has been all weekend, while Pierre delivered a superb lap at the end to finish very close to the top three. Unfortunately, Pierre’s penalty means we start tomorrow in sixth and tenth but we know we can still have a good race from there. There will be a real mix of strategies throughout the grid for the race and we will do our best to gain some places and come away with deserved double points.”