BWT Alpine F1 Team finished with Pierre Gasly thirteenth and Esteban Ocon fourteenth in the São Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Race across a challenging Saturday for the team.
Esteban was involved in an incident in the Sprint Shootout, which brought significant damage to his A523. Against the clock ahead of the Sprint Race, the team impressively managed to repair the damage, including both the front and rear wings, floor, gearbox and suspension, the left-side bodywork and the steering column on the car to enable Esteban to take the start of the Sprint.
The Frenchman drove a clean race, rising two positions to finish in fourteenth place. Pierre began from thirteenth place, climbing two places on the opening lap, before losing out to both Aston Martins in the latter stage of the race, crossing the line in thirteenth.
The team now prepares for Sunday’s Grand Prix at 14:00 local time where Esteban lines up fourteenth and Pierre fifteenth.
Esteban, P16, 1:12.388secs
Pierre, P13, 1:11.822secs
Sprint Race (24 laps)
Esteban started from P16 on Used Softs, finished P14
Pierre started from P13 on Used Softs, finished P13
Esteban Ocon: “First of all I want to give a big shout out to the entire team in the garage for their heroic work on the car to get it ready in time for the Sprint Race. They had to replace pretty much everything other than the engine and the chassis so a big well done and thank you to them. After the unfortunate incident in the Shootout, we started sixteenth today so we gained a couple of places during what was a tough but straightforward race. We had a couple of good overtakes but perhaps lacked the speed compared to the Astons, who are quick here. We now shift our focus to tomorrow where we’ll need to fight our way back up to the points to finish the weekend on a high.”
Pierre Gasly: “There is not much to report from today after starting from thirteenth and finishing in thirteenth. I made a good start, managed to overtake two cars, and then we were in the chasing pack for the lower end of the points. I tried to stay in that group but then it became more difficult towards the end of the race particularly with rear grip and overheating tyres. I had some fun fighting Fernando [Alonso] with some fair racing, just not for the points-scoring positions. We can learn a couple of things ahead of tomorrow’s race. It could be an interesting one and we will aim to identify a good strategy to put ourselves in contention to score some points.”