BWT Alpine F1 Team started its Japanese Grand Prix weekend with a challenging Friday Practice at Suzuka, which concluded with an unfortunate off for Pierre Gasly in Free Practice 2. Prior to that, the team ended with Esteban Ocon twelfth and Pierre nineteenth on the leaderboard.
In Free Practice 1, Esteban finished fifteenth and Pierre twelfth. Both drivers ran prototype 2024 Pirelli tyres across both sessions as well as the Soft (C3) and Medium (C2) compounds in preparation for the remainder of the weekend.
The team will continue its work tonight and tomorrow looking to find improvements on set-up ahead of Free Practice 3 at 11:30 local time and Qualifying at 15:00.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P15, 1:33.516, 22 laps
Pierre, P12, 1:33.129secs, 23 laps
Free Practice 2
Esteban, P12, 1:31.794secs, 22 laps
Pierre, P19, 1:32.179secs, 22 laps
Esteban Ocon: “It’s always a real pleasure to come back to Suzuka and drive around this iconic circuit; it’s probably my favourite of the year. It was a busy day in the car today and we have learned a lot out on track in both sessions. We also saw some good improvements from Free Practice 1 to Free Practice 2 and we put in some competitive lap times in the afternoon session. It only takes three or four tenths to gain a few positions, so it’s extremely close amongst a number of cars. We have some work to do overnight and hopefully we can be in a good position tomorrow to have another strong Qualifying.”
Pierre Gasly: “At this stage of the race weekend, I would say we have some work to do and I’m sure there’s more to come from us. Unfortunately, our day ended with a small off at Turn 9 right at the end of Free Practice 2. I just lost the front slightly and I could not correct it in time and that meant we slid through the gravel and into the barrier. We will learn from it and move on. In terms of today’s performance, there are a lot of things we can assess both on low and high fuel. The tyres are quite challenging and it’s something we’ll certainly aim to get on top of ready for the rest of the weekend. It’s an extremely tight pack with one or two tenths of a second splitting a lot of cars, so extracting every detail tomorrow will count.”