28 July 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team will line up for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix with Pierre Gasly twelfth and Esteban Ocon fifteenth on the grid after a wet to dry Friday afternoon Qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.
On Intermediates, both drivers progressed through Q1, Pierre in eleventh and Esteban twelfth, split by just over 0.1secs. Q2 began with both drivers slotting into the top six on Intermediates before the crossover to dry tyres. Esteban hit the wall at Turn 9 while on Soft tyres, damaging the front wing of his A523, which brought an end to his session. Pierre improved his lap-time to a 1min 53.671secs to finish in twelfth place.
Tomorrow’s Sprint Shootout begins at 12:00 to set the grid for the Sprint Race at 16:30 local time.
Free Practice 1
Esteban, P19, No Time Set
Pierre, P18, No Time Set
Esteban, P12, 1:59.634secs
Pierre, P11, 1:59.511secs
Esteban, P15, 1:56.372secs
Pierre, P12, 1:53.671secs
Esteban Ocon: It’s not been an easy day on track today and I’m disappointed not to get into Q3. The weather conditions made the session tricky for everyone and but we did a good job to get through to Q2. Unfortunately, I hit the wall at Turn 9, which damaged the car and we were not able to have a second push lap on Soft tyres when the track was at its best. Tomorrow, we have a chance to get points with the Sprint Race, so we’ll certainly target a good result. For Sunday, it’s going to be tough from fifteenth on the grid but we’ll give our all.”
Pierre Gasly: “It’s always challenging in wet to dry conditions with things changing lap after lap. It is exciting like this as you have to be on it straight away without overstepping the mark. We probably didn’t start our final push lap in Q2 under the best conditions but, even so, we didn’t have the car set-up for these kind of conditions and that is shown in our lap-time. Sector 1 was quite strong for us, whereas the longer, tighter, Sector 2 is where we struggled. This might be a positive by Sunday for the race, though, where we’ll be aiming to fight our way towards the points.”