BWT Alpine F1 Team qualified with Esteban Ocon in eighth place – marking a return to Q3 – and Pierre Gasly twelfth in an entertaining Saturday night Qualifying at Marina Bay for the Singapore Grand Prix as both cars look to maximise their starting positions.
Esteban returned to Q3 after a well-executed Qualifying across all three segments. Pierre missed out on a Q3 spot by 0.108secs but will look to capitalise on a mixed-up grid for tomorrow’s 62-lap race with the points-paying places within reach.
Both drivers progressed through Q1 – Esteban in ninth and Pierre in twelfth – with the session red-flagged after Lance Stroll’s heavy crash at the final corner. In Q2 both drivers were split by the barest of margins – 0.001secs - on their opening runs. Esteban then improved to a lap time of 1min 32.089secs to progress to Q3 in ninth, with Pierre out in twelfth place on a 1min 32.274secs.
In Q3, Esteban’s lap time of 1min 31.673secs was enough for eighth place.
Esteban, P9, 1:32.369secs; Pierre, P12, 1:32.452secs
Esteban, P9, 1:32.089secs; Pierre, P12, 1:32.274secs
Esteban, P8, 1:31.673secs
Esteban Ocon: “Firstly, well done to the entire team for today’s performance as it’s a well-deserved Q3 appearance and one in which we’ve had to put a lot of work in. The car has felt good all weekend so far and we were able to extract the maximum when it counted today to put ourselves in a good starting position for tomorrow’s race. Credit to the team back at the factories who brought these upgrades to Singapore, which allowed us to clearly make a step in the right direction. Focus now turns to the race tomorrow where we’ll be targeting a good race and hopefully some points in the bag.”
Pierre Gasly: “It was a pity for us not to be in Q3 today but, even so, we have put ourselves in a decent position to fight for points in tomorrow’s race when it counts. On our side of the garage, we’ve certainly lacked a few things and we have been playing catch-up in some places to try to optimise car balance. As a team we will, of course, review what we could do better to be better prepared for Qualifying and start more on the front foot. We made a good step from yesterday to today and that’s positive for the team. Tomorrow will be a long and very tough race and I’m confident we can have a strong afternoon and progress ourselves into the points.”
Julian Rouse, Interim Sporting Director: “Generally, it has been a more positive day here in Singapore with a smooth and well executed qualifying session from both sides of the garage. As predicted, it’s very tight between sixth and twelfth place, but we managed to progress through into Q3 with Esteban in eighth. However, we missed out with Pierre, so we will certainly continue to work hard on how we can improve all of our details so that we can benefit more from these tight margins in the future. For tomorrow, we will be racing for the first time on this new circuit layout, but it will still remain a track that's very difficult to overtake on. With this in mind, we will be putting a lot of emphasis on strategy, especially around the pit-stop phases of the race as these will be the best opportunities to move forward. We will target solidifying Esteban’s position in the points as well as seeing what we can do to progress Pierre into the top ten with a mixed-up grid around him. There is still long way to go this weekend and the goal is to be scoring points with both cars tomorrow.”