17 June 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team qualified with Esteban Ocon in sixth and Pierre Gasly in seventeenth after an eventful Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix under mixed conditions at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal.
Pierre was particularly unfortunate in Q1 where, while improving his lap-time, saw his lap compromised by Carlos Sainz who impeded the Frenchman at the final corner. As a result, Pierre was unable to improve on his time for that lap and consequently exited Q1 in seventeenth place.
Esteban progressed through Q1 in eighth place before the track dried ahead of Q2. He then edged his way into Q3 for the fourth race in a row after setting his Q2 time on Softs before the rain returned for the top 10 shootout. Esteban’s lap on Intermediates – a 1min 27.945secs – proved enough for sixth place. Tomorrow’s 70-lap Canadian Grand Prix begins at 14:00 local time.
Esteban, P8, 1:22.114secs; Pierre, P17, 1:22.886secs
Esteban, P9, 1:20.406secs
Esteban, P6, 1:27.945secs
Esteban Ocon: “Starting sixth on the grid tomorrow is a very good result for us considering the conditions and the challenging weekend we’ve had so far. Credit to the team, superbly managing all the sessions in Qualifying as it was not easy today. Our focus now turns to tomorrow, fully knowing that we haven’t done many laps this weekend to prepare, in the wet or the dry. That said, I am confident in the car and in the team and we hope to come away with some good points at the end of the race. Last but not least, a shoutout to the crowd who stuck around in big numbers despite the heavy rain today. We saw you and felt your support around the track and hope to put on a good show for you tomorrow.”
Pierre Gasly: “I’m very disappointed with the outcome of today’s Qualifying and we can count ourselves unfortunate to be starting so far down on the grid. I was on for a good lap time in Q1, safe to easily progress to Q2, and then I was blocked in a dangerous manner in the braking zone for the final corner. The incident compromised both that lap and the next lap and it left us out in Q1. It’s very frustrating as there was a big opportunity today with the mixed conditions and we were not able to show our potential. We have an uphill task in the race from near the back of the grid but, as ever, I’ll be giving it my all to progress towards the points with the aim of coming away with something.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “It’s been another mixed Qualifying outcome for us today with Esteban reaching Q3, ending in sixth place, while Pierre was very unlucky to not go further than Q1 in seventeenth place. For Pierre, he was on a quick lap, on for around sixth place in the session, before meeting traffic in the final corner. That meant his quickest lap was compromised and it left him out in Q1. Esteban did another good job to reach Q3 for the fourth race in a row, especially under the changing conditions. It’s never easy to manage when you have a drying track and then a threat of rain but the team did a great job to have Esteban on track with the right tyres at the right time. He’s in a good position to score strong points tomorrow. Of course, it’s frustrating for Pierre but all is not lost and we’ll give it our best in the race to have both cars inside the points.”