29 July 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team finished in third place in today’s Sprint Race at the Belgian Grand Prix after a cool drive under wet conditions by Pierre Gasly. Team-mate Esteban Ocon finished inside the top ten in ninth place.
It’s the team’s first visit to the top three in the Sprint Race format with Pierre claiming six points after rising from sixth to third. He pitted for Intermediates as the race went under green flag conditions following a number of laps behind the Safety Car. A slick pit-stop allowed Pierre to jump three positions as he held his nerve to fend off Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton for third place.
Esteban pitted a lap later than Pierre for Intermediates, falling back a place to tenth, before recovering to ninth place with a well-managed drive.
Tomorrow’s 44-lap Grand Prix begins at 15:00 local time with Pierre starting twelfth and Esteban fifteenth.
Esteban, P9, 1:50.494secs
Pierre, P6, 1:49.700secs
Sprint Race (15 laps)
Esteban started from P9 on Extreme Wets, pit-stop for Intermediates on Lap 3, finished P9
Pierre started from P6 on Extreme Wets, pit-stop for Intermediates on Lap 2, finished P3
Esteban Ocon: “First of all a big congratulations to Pierre and the team for today’s great result. These are some important points for the team after a few tough weeks so I’m very happy for everyone. On my side it was a pretty straightforward race. The conditions were tough out there but the team did a good job with the strategy and pit stops. I had a couple of good fights on track with Daniel [Ricciardo] and George [Russell] but, unfortunately, we just missed out on the points today. We are fully focused now on tomorrow’s Grand Prix where we’ll be looking to move up the grid and finish the first part of the season on a high.”
Pierre Gasly: “I’m so happy for the entire team today, this one is for everyone trackside and at the factories in Viry and Enstone. For me, it’s very special to achieve third place here in Spa-Francorchamps with all its history and personal moments that are clearly close to my heart. We took some risks in Sprint Qualifying this morning and it paid off as we ended in sixth place. Then, it was down to a well-executed pit-stop to switch to Intermediates which meant we jumped a number of positions and put ourselves in contention for the top three. It was not easy to hold off Sergio [Perez] and then Lewis [Hamilton] but we did it and I’m so pleased. Tomorrow our focus is on the main race where we know it will be tough starting from twelfth but we can take some confidence into it and hopefully we can come away with another strong result.”