03 March 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team started the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with a productive day’s Friday Practice at the Bahrain International Circuit, filled with further learning and data collection of its A523.
The team ran in its special BWT-inspired pink livery today for the first time of the season, which will feature on the car for the remainder of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Australia.
After completing 354 laps across last week’s three-day pre-season test, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly focused on building up their speed in the car today across a busy practice programme.
Pierre ended the day seventh on the timesheets after setting a 1min 31.475secs in Free Practice 2 with Esteban eleventh in the second session with a lap time of 1min 31.608secs.
Tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 begins at 14:30 local time, before Qualifying at 18:00.
Esteban Ocon: “After a busy pre-season test, I’m pleased with how the first Friday practice of the season went, and it feels great to be back on track in the environment of a race weekend. We saw today that the car has gained performance since the test and we have a clearer picture of where there are improvements to be made. Things are going in the right direction and we’ll be discussing at length tonight how we can get ready to have a good first qualifying of the season. There’s more to come from us and I’m feeling ready.”
Pierre Gasly: “It feels great to be back in competitive action and feeling the demands of a Friday Practice day. In testing there’s obviously a bit more time to learn about the car and make changes, but today was a reminder of how fast paced everything is and how concise and accurate you have to be during the sessions. I’m satisfied with how we’ve worked today. We ran through a busy programme, and we’ve built up a good picture on car set-up in the conditions we expect to see for the rest of the weekend. I’d say Free Practice 2 was much more comfortable. The car felt good and there’s more to come from us this weekend. I’m excited for Qualifying tomorrow.”
Pat Fry, Chief Technical Officer: “We’re reasonably happy with our first Friday Practice of the season. Our main objective was to continue learning about our car in representative conditions for what we’re likely to see for the remainder of the weekend. We’ve spent a lot of time working through our learnings from last week and identifying a good direction to follow on car set-up, which will serve us well for tomorrow and Sunday. Free Practice 1 was challenging in the hot conditions but I’m pleased with the improvements we made for Free Practice 2 where track and ambient temperatures were significantly cooler. Still, there’s more hard work ahead of us and there’s definitely more to come. Our upgrades worked in line with our expectations, so credit to the entire team for their tireless work over the past couple of weeks in preparation for the first race.”