Double elimination in Q1 for Alpine during Sprint qualifying in China

New complicated qualifying session for Alpine. Both cars were eliminated in SQ1 of the Chinese Grand Prix, putting them far away from the points for tomorrow's race.

Published on 19/04/2024 à 11:43

Yannis Duval

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Double elimination in Q1 for Alpine during Sprint qualifying in China

Despite new developments, Ocon could not do better than 17th place. ©DPPI

Alpine experienced a new qualifying where neither car was able to get out of Q1. We kind of expected it in the end since the Shanghai circuit exploits the biggest weaknesses of this A524. There was nevertheless a glimmer of hope of securing a good place for the Sprint given thatEsteban Ocon had new developments, in terms of its chassis and its flat bottom.

However, this was not enough for the Norman as he ranked 17th on the grid. A session that left him with a bitter taste; he was not able to extract the maximum from his car due to the short driving time before qualifying.

“I think we didn't maximize the potential of the car, deplores Esteban Ocon, at the microphone of Canal +. With only one Free Practice session, we were not able to optimize the car's settings. We're lucky enough to be able to change a lot of things, and I already have a few ideas in mind. I think there's a little more performance to be had, we'll see that on Saturday. »

Getting back into the points during the Sprint race then promises to be very complicated, if not impossible. For Alpine and Ocon, it will be more  “a practice session in traffic, awaiting qualification for Sunday's race. »

A positive session for Gasly

This is the first time this season that Pierre Gasly ahead of his teammate in qualifying. Naturally, the tone is then very different on his side. Note that in addition, the Rouennais does not benefit from the developments that Esteban Ocon has on his car.

“It was a very good session on our part, judges the veteran of the sector Red Bull. We know that this weekend will be complicated for me, I don't have the new chassis and the new flat bottom like Esteban, so we're trying to limit the damage and that's what we did in this session. We were very close to Q2, and that's positive since it wasn't easy during Practice this morning. Since the start of the season, we have always had some problems in qualifying and in the race, but not this time. I'm happy with the performance we were able to extract from the car. »

Despite another exit in Q1, Pierre Gasly is not discouraged and prefers to look at the long term: “You have to look at the length, there are 24 races. From next weekend I will have new parts, they seem to provide what we expected, it's lighter and there are gains. We should get closer to the top 10.”

For the first time this season, number 10 from Alpine beat his teammate in qualifying, while the latter benefited from new developments. However, are these sure to bring a real plus to the A arrow? Difficult to provide a clear answer for the moment, the rest of this weekend should enlighten us…

ALSO READ > Lando Norris, happy pole sitter: “I have never found myself in such a complicated session”

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Yves-Henri RANDIER

19/04/2024 at 12:42 a.m.

Evolution or not, no change, both Alpine were released from Q1. The Sprint will therefore serve as full-scale tests to verify that the developments really bring something...

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