Alpine F1 Team will line up with Fernando Alonso twelfth and Esteban Ocon nineteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s Mexico City Grand Prix. Esteban starts towards the back of the field following a grid penalty as a result of a power unit change.

Alpine F1 Team will line up with Fernando Alonso twelfth and Esteban Ocon nineteenth on the grid for tomorrow’s Mexico City Grand Prix. Esteban starts towards the back of the field following a grid penalty as a result of a power unit change.

Esteban and Fernando started Q1 on new Softs for their first timed laps, before a red flag was waved when Lance Stroll clipped the barriers at the exit of the final corner.

The session resumed 24 minutes later, after lengthy repairs were made to ensure the safety of the barrier.

Esteban’s initial attempt, a 1min 18.126secs, was good enough to hold onto fifteenth and see the Frenchman through. Fernando was unable to improve on his first run - a 1min 18.452secs – and he was out in Q1 for only the second time this year.

Esteban fitted used Softs for his first attempt in Q2 and slotted into thirteenth on a 1min 18.405secs. He then went out for a second run on new Mediums but was unable to improve after his lap was aborted due to an untimely yellow flag, leaving him vulnerable and eventually fifteenth on the timing board.

With grid penalties applied, the result leaves Fernando twelfth and Esteban nineteenth for tomorrow’s Mexico City Grand Prix.

Q1: Esteban P15, 1:18.126 Fernando P16, 1:18.452
Q2: Esteban P15, 1:18.405

Esteban Ocon, #31, A521-04, Q: P15, 1:18.405, FP3: P16, 1:18.999
“Qualifying today was always going to be a challenge, especially knowing I have a grid penalty for the race with the engine change. We had a plan in place for qualifying, which was to help Fernando as much as possible with a tow to put him into Q3. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. Tomorrow will be a difficult race starting from the back of the grid, but we will fight as hard as we can and try to take advantage of any incidents or safety cars. It can be a tough race here, so I’m confident we can still have a good race. We will do our best as a team to make some progress and we’ll aim to sneak some points.”

Fernando Alonso, #14, A521-06, Q: P16, 1:18.452, FP3: P15, 1:18.847
“It’s not a good result for us today and it’s disappointing to see both cars finish outside of the top ten. We made some changes before qualifying but ultimately, I think my laps today could have been better. Before the red flag was waved, I was looking quite strong and I was happy with my lap, so it’s a shame that we got caught out by that. Then I couldn’t get a clean lap together in our two attempts on the one set of Softs and we dropped out of qualifying. We start twelfth tomorrow so it’s a bit better than the result showed after Q1 and I think it’ll be an interesting race. Let’s see what we can do as I believe points are still very possible.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “It was a very tricky day for us today. We have some investigating to do on Fernando’s side because on his first run in Q1 before the red flag, he had excellent pace and was looking very comfortable. Then, on the next set of tyres, he was six tenths slower after half a lap. We need to understand what happened there and why he felt a lot less grip on that set of tyres. Esteban’s qualifying was always compromised for today with him starting from the back of the grid due to the power unit change. The aim for him was to go into Q2 and then give Fernando a tow like we saw with the McLarens and Alpha Tauris. Looking ahead to tomorrow, all is not lost. Fernando will move up to twelfth on the grid with the various grid penalties. He will also have a free tyre choice, so it’s certainly not over and it can be a tough race here with plenty of opportunity to move through the field. We’ll still be looking to get him well into the points.”

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