Two weeks before the Italian Grand Prix, theAlpine was back on track at the Sochi circuit to compete in the free practice for the Russian Grand Prix, where the French team will try to consolidate fifth place in the constructors’ standings. Both team pilots, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, always closed the two sessions in the top 10, with the sole exception of this morning for the transalpine driver, who finished 11th at the end of PL1.
The winner of the Hungarian GP wanted to comment on the outcome of the first day on the track, also expressing his feelings after the fifth place – best overall for Alpine today – obtained in PL2: “It is nice to be able to return to a circuit that I have always liked like the one in Sochi – commented Ocon – compared to Monza, there is a higher grip here. We used the softer tire compound to try and understand some aspects, even though it was a much more demanding day than it usually is on Friday. We had to push harder because our attention is all focused on the weather forecast for tomorrow, and so on optimizing everything today was important. We completed several low and high fuel load stints – he concluded – and now we have good ideas to complete the correct set-up. We’ll see how the rest of the weekend goes, but for now I’m satisfied ”.
A concern, that for the weather conditions of tomorrow, which worries even a bi-world champion like Fernando Alonso, who commented on his tests concluded with an 8th place (in PL2) as the best result of the day: “We don’t know how useful the collected data will be – said the Spaniard – especially in view of the heavy rain that may fall tomorrow. Either way, it was a reasonable day, and the car seems to perform well here. We tried different set ups during PL2, and we noticed some advantages, so I’m satisfied. We could have done an even faster lap – he concluded – if there had not been the red flag for Giovinazzi’s accident, but we are only on Friday. We will see what happens tomorrow ”.