BWT Alpine F1 Team ran a productive Friday Practice programme at Autodromo Nazionale Monza today in preparation for the Italian Grand Prix, the final European race of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season.
On the back of his maiden podium in Alpine colours in Zandvoort last weekend, Pierre Gasly ended the day thirteenth on the timesheets with Esteban Ocon fifteenth by less than 0.1seconds. The team will continue its work to find the optimum car balance centred towards high top speed for the long bursts of full throttle at the 5.793km Italian circuit.
Tomorrow’s final practice session begins at 12:30 local time with Qualifying at 16:00.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P17, 1:24.090secs, 26 laps
Pierre, P14, 1:23.931secs, 26 laps
Free Practice 2
Esteban, P15, 1:22.716secs, 22 laps
Pierre, P13, 1:22.651secs, 22 laps
Esteban Ocon: “It’s always special to drive here in Monza, such an iconic track, and it’s good to be back driving in front of the Italian fans, especially after the cancellation of Imola earlier this season. On track, our Friday was a busy one with plenty to get through. We completed our programme but I think at the moment there are quite a few different things we need to look at in order to be more competitive on this high-speed track. The key will be to get the set-up right ahead of tomorrow for what will be a busy Qualifying session. We’ve got work to do tonight and I know we’ll all be pushing to be in a good position for Sunday’s race.”
Pierre Gasly: “It’s great to be driving in Monza again as it’s a very special place for me and it’s also my semi-home race since I live in Milan. On-track it’s been a pretty solid if unspectacular day for us, where we ran through a specific programme filled with plenty of learning for the team. The timesheets are of course not where we aim to be, that said, we know the areas we need to improve and hopefully tomorrow we will be in a stronger position. There’s a long way to go in the weekend and now we’ll analyse the data from today and find a good direction on set-up ready for Qualifying.”
Matt Harman, Technical Director: “Today was all about learning for us and, on that front, it’s been a very good day. Both sessions had some interruptions and a couple of red flags but, even so, both cars ran a solid programme and the drivers did an excellent job to run through a handful of test items and provide useful data for the team to analyse. The rear beam wing we introduced to both cars has worked in line with our expectations and that is positive. We know the areas where we are lacking and finding improvements to those areas has been a focus point for us today, which will certainly benefit us in the mid to long term. Right now, it’s all about picking the best set-up on both cars and we look forward to seeing what the rest of the weekend brings.”