On Friday, the Alpine F1 Team finished testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Esteban Ocon fourth and Fernando Alonso seventh.
During the first free practise session, the team was testing new aero parts on the A521 in order to maintain the progress made at the Portuguese Grand Prix last weekend.
Fernando began the day on soft tyres (C3) for his return to F1 on home soil after a three-year absence, while Esteban started on hard tyres (C4) (C1). The two men had a very different schedule from each other. Esteban ended the session in the soft ones' twelfth row, three positions ahead of Fernando, who, unlike the rest of the peloton, finished strong.
Both drivers were pleased with the car's balance in FP2, and their first medium laps (C2) were good enough to propel them into the top five. Both improved their times after putting on the softs, with Esteban winning by 52 / 1000th of a second over Fernando.
On Friday, Fernando drove with more gasoline in soft while Esteban assessed the medium compounds.
Alonso finished FP1 - 15th with a 1:19.590 after 25 laps and later improved in FP2 - 5th with a 1:18.518 after 30 laps.
The Spaniard comments, “We had a good Friday today. In both sessions we focused on making small improvements to the car this weekend and then gathered some good information about the tires and our settings."
He concludes, "Overall I'm happy with both of our sessions and I think the car is well balanced so that gives me confidence for tomorrow. Let's see where this takes us in qualifying!"
Ocon, who finished less than three tenths behind Lewis Hamilton's fastest time, said at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya that "we should be pleased with our day's work."
The French driver comments, "As a team we made a good step from FP1 to Fp2, and I felt that in the car"
He continues, "The aim is to repeat that in Fp3 and make another step in performance, It was a busy two sessions, lots of things tried on both cars and that gives us a lot to analyse to find more speed"
He concludes, "It's always tricky in barcelona with the grip and tyre usage so there's lots ofr us to learn and understand, The new turn 10 was interesting and, on our side, weh ave room for improvement there"
According to team racing director, Davide Brivio, he says, "We can be pleased with this productive start to the race weekend, we know this track is challenging, especially for our car in the past."
He continues, "It was a busy day for us, especially with our work in FP2 this afternoon on both low and high fuel, we tested a few different items on both cars, which gives us some good information to go through"
Brivio concludes, "Of course, the work continues tonight and tomorrow morning in order to be ready for when it really counts."