Alpine F1 Team finished Friday practice for the Spanish Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon fourth and Fernando Alonso fifth on the timesheets at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Aiming to continue its improvements from last weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix, the team assessed some further aero items on the A521 in Free Practice 1.
Fernando – driving in Formula 1 on home soil for the first time in three years – began his day on Softs (C3) and Esteban on Hards (C1) with both drivers on a slightly different run plan. Esteban finished the opening session in twelfth on Softs with Fernando in fifteenth, after he ended first practice on Hard tyres, out of sync with the majority of the field.
For Free Practice 2, both drivers were happy from the get-go with car balance, with their initial laps on Mediums (C2) good enough for the top five on the leaderboard. After switching to Softs, both drivers improved their lap times into the mid 1min 18secs with Esteban narrowly ahead of Fernando by 0.052secs.
To finish the day, Fernando ran high fuel on Softs with Esteban sampling the Mediums.
Esteban Ocon, #31, A521-05
Free Practice 1: P12, 1:19.681, 25 laps
Free Practice 2: P4, 1:18.466, 29 laps
Esteban: “We can be happy with our day’s work. It’s always tricky in Barcelona with the grip and tyre usage so there’s lots for us to learn and understand. I think the new Turn 10 was interesting and, on our side, we have room for improvement there. As a team, we made a good step from FP1 to FP2 and I felt that in the car. The aim is to repeat that in FP3 and make another step in performance. It was a busy two sessions, lots of things tried on both cars and that gives us a lot to analyse to find more speed.”
Fernando Alonso, #14, A521-06
Free Practice 1: P15, 1:19.950, 25 laps
Free Practice 2: P5, 1:18.518, 30 laps
Fernando: “It was a good Friday for us today. Over the two sessions we concentrated on some small upgrades that we brought to the car this weekend and then collected some good information about the tyres and our car set-up. Overall, I am pleased with our two sessions and I think the car balance feels good, so it gives me confidence for tomorrow. Let’s see where we are for qualifying.”
Davide Brivio, Racing Director: “It was a busy day for us, especially with our work in FP2 this afternoon on both low and high fuel. We tested a few different items on both cars, which gives us some good information to go through. We know this track is challenging, especially for our car in the past, so we can be pleased with this productive start to the race weekend. Of course, the work continues tonight and tomorrow morning in order to be ready for when it really counts.”
Total Laps: 109 (Esteban 54, Fernando 55), 509.5km.
Source: Media Groupe Renault