16 June 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team endured a stop-start Friday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal, as multiple red flags put paid to proceedings for Practice ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ended the day tenth and eighteenth on the timesheets in Free Practice 2, after the opening session was stopped early due to a circuit CCTV issue. Pierre brought out an early red flag in Free Practice 1 with a minor electrical issue on the spare steering wheel on his A523. The team installed his regular steering wheel for the second session with no issues or concerns. Esteban was then the cause of a red flag in Free Practice 2 as a result of a loss of water pressure on his car as he stopped at Turn 9 as a precaution.
As a result of the early stoppage in the first session, Free Practice 2 was extended by 30minutes to 1 hour and 30minutes allowing teams more meaningful on-track running. Tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 begins at 12:30 before Qualifying at 16:00.
Free Practice 1 (stopped early due to on-track CCTV issue)
Esteban, No Time Set
Pierre, No Time Set
Free Practice 2
Esteban, P18, 1:15.092secs, 17 laps
Pierre, P10, 1:14.477secs, 39 laps
Esteban Ocon: “It’s been a difficult day today. We started with a disrupted Free Practice 1 with a power outage issue and malfunctioning CCTV systems around the track, which meant all teams had little to no running. Free Practice 2 was also interrupted on our side due to a suspected loss of water pressure in the car. Obviously, it’s been a far from straightforward day for us, so we’ll have to get on top of the issues so we can ensure tomorrow, when it counts, is better. We’ll debrief and analyse the data we managed to get today and keep our heads down to make sure we make the most of Free Practice 3 tomorrow to be ready for Qualifying.”
Pierre Gasly: “That was a very different Friday Practice but, in the end, on my side, we managed to have a productive day. It did not start so well with an issue with the spare steering wheel on my first run in Free Practice 1. Fortunately, we did not miss out on any running due to the red flag for the circuit systems. Free Practice 2 was much better and we were able to progress our programme for almost the full one-and-a-half-hour session before the rain at the end. I had an interesting moment at Turn 4 with the rear sliding but managed to keep it away from the wall. I think we’re in a good place ahead of the rest of the weekend and hopefully tomorrow’s Practice can be better to set ourselves up for Qualifying.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: “It’s not been a normal day of Practice today in Montréal with some interruptions causing disruption to all teams' programmes. In Free Practice 1, we had a problem on Pierre’s car due to an electrical fault on the spare steering wheel, which caused him to stop on track. This was replaced to his normal wheel for the second session with no issues and he was able to have a productive afternoon. Unfortunately, Esteban’s session stopped early in Free Practice 2 as a result of losing water pressure on his car; we will take the time to investigate the cause of this issue. It means our running today was limited and we must target a much smoother Free Practice 3 tomorrow to put ourselves in the best possible position ahead of Qualifying. The weather looks mixed with a high chance of rain throughout the day, so we’ll remain ready for all possibilities.”