BWT Alpine F1 Team will line-up for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with both cars inside the top ten on the grid as Esteban Ocon qualified seventh and Pierre Gasly tenth in a tightly contested qualifying at the fast and thrilling Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Ocon made it his second top ten appearance of the season in as many races with his lap time of a 1min 29.078 secs proving enough for seventh place.
In a well managed qualifying Ocon, comfortably progressed through the first two sessions in eleventh and seventh place.
Speaking after the session Ocon said: “That was an intense qualifying session and a strong performance all around, so a good job by the entire team.
“Overall, I’m happy with seventh today. We’re starting in sixth with Charles’ [Leclerc] penalty and it’s all to play for from the third row tomorrow. During Qualifying, the car was the strongest it’s felt all weekend and it’s good to see that we’ve improved day by day, session by session, so credit to the team for that.
“Tomorrow we’ll aim to have a clean race and bring both cars home in the points. It’s a long race where strategy will be important and we’re all fully focused on a strong result.”
Improving on his first qualifying outing Gasly built up his evening strongly where small improvements can mean positions.
Gasly progressed through the first session by 0.049secs before advancing to the top ten shootout with a lap time of 1min 29.411secs in the second, securing his spot by 0.040secs where he went on to finish tenth.
After qualifying Gasly had mixed feelings saying: “While I’m pleased to reach Q3, I still feel we came up a little bit short on our expectations today and there’s some finer details we need to work on to make sure we extract the maximum from our package.
“It’s great that we have both cars inside the top ten – credit to Esteban on a good job – and it means we’re in a strong position for the race where the aim is to score solid points.
“Our race pace has been good, we showed that in Bahrain, and in Practice yesterday, and I’m feeling confident that double points are achievable.”
Both drivers will inherit one grid position as a result of Charles Leclerc’s grid penalty meaning Esteban will start sixth and Pierre ninth and will have their eyes firmly set on delivering double points in tomorrow’s 50-lap Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.