The first qualifying of the 2023 season is over and BWT Alpine qualified with Esteban Ocon in ninth place and Pierre Gasly in twentieth place at the Bahrain International Circuit.
It was a difficult start to life as an Alpine driver for Pierre Gasly and was unfortunate to exit in the first session (Q1) as he continues to get up to speed in the A523.
His second push lap in Q1 was deleted for a track limits infringement while sitting in seventeenth place from his first attempt.
Gasly, will start in P20 after setting lap time of 1:32.181.
After qualifying he said: “Clearly, this is not the start to the season we wanted being knocked out in Q1, that said, it means we have everything to gain for tomorrow’s race and I’m definitely feeling positive that we can still come away with points from this weekend.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t quite feel at one with the car today and that meant we were way below where our true level is.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to continue our understanding of the car and I’m confident we will come back stronger for our next qualifying session.
“My focus is on tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to the race and giving it my all.”
Esteban Ocon reached the top ten shootout (Q3) with a well-managed qualifying, progressing through Q1 in twelfth and Q2 in ninth place.
His lap time of 1min 30.984 secs, proved enough for ninth place in the top ten shootout.
Speaking after the race Ocon said: “It felt good to be out there and finally really pushing the car to see what it can do and where we stand. Getting through to Q3 is definitely a good way to start the season.
“We are happy with the progress we have made since the pre-season test, and this is the best the car has felt on track so far this year.
“Our competitors in front are quick, and we have plenty of work ahead of us, but we’ve got a car that can get into the points and that will be the goal for the first race of the season.”
Ocon has put himself in a strong position for points while Gasly will look to move through the back of the grid early if he wants to fight for points in the 57-lap season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Tomorrow’s curtain raiser to the 2023 season begins at 3:00pm (15:00) GMT time.