The BWT Alpine F1 Team added valuable points to their account after the Australian Grand Prix for the third consecutive round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship season 2022.
This thanks to the smooth progress of Esteban Ocon to seventh place on the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne. Teammate Fernando Alonso finished 17th outside the points.
Ocon has scored points at every race so far this season and is seventh in the Drivers’ Championship and the team is now fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. The Frenchman enjoyed a solid and stable race, going from eighth on the grid to seventh at the checkered flag on a one-stop, Medium to Hard strategy, making his pit stop on lap 17.
After a strong effort from the mechanics to prepare the #14 A522, Fernando Alonso opted for a reverse Hard to Medium plan, which looked promising midway through the 58-lap race. However, an ill-timed Safety Car to clear up an incident on lap 24 put the Spaniard in the background and meant it would be a challenge to score points. He pitted on lap 39 under the Virtual Safety Car and when his Mediums were relegated, he had to pit again on lap 53.
The team is looking ahead to Imola in two weeks’ time to build on the strong start to the 2022 campaign.
Esteban Ocon, started P8, finished P7:
“This weekend has ended with mixed feelings for us. Of course it’s a good result to finish the race in seventh place, especially after what was a difficult weekend for me. Yesterday was not our strongest day and that certainly made a difference in how today went. So we can learn a lot from the past few days with the team as we know we have more potential to unlock. All in all, I’ve been in points in three out of three races and I’m leaving Australia happy with how my season has started. I am hungry for more and looking forward to the next one.”
Fernando Alonso, started P10, finished P17:
“To be honest, I’m devastated this weekend. It’s hard to accept the result after the bad luck we had in Saudi Arabia and again here in Melbourne. Today we looked good for a possible sixth place and of course the podium was on the line even for yesterday’s issue in qualifying. The strategy was good today and the car felt strong on the Hard tyre. The pace was there with everyone stopping on the Mediums around us, but then the Safety Car regrouped the field and it effectively ended our race. Overtaking was difficult today and especially with the DRS train towards the end of the race. We downgraded our Medium tires on this train, so we had to stop again. There are still 20 races to go and hopefully luck will be in our favor for the rest of the season!”
Laurent Rossi, Alpine CEO: “We are generally disappointed with today’s result, but it is a good sign that we are not satisfied as it underlines how far we have come as a team. We know we had the speed and potential for a much better result with both cars today, but the race weekend just didn’t quite go our way. The track proved very difficult to overtake, especially compared to the previous two races, and we knew Saturday’s qualifying result would play a big part in the outcome of Sunday’s race. With our cars starting eighth and tenth, it was always a challenge to get ahead in those places. After some early promises, the Safety Car was especially unlucky for Fernando, who used a calm, but effective, reverse strategy on Hard to Medium. Overall, we have shown that we are competitive and we will continue to build on the good foundation we have, especially by making some upgrades for upcoming races so that we can continue to fight higher on the grid. Before that we will work on consistency to get both cars in the points. I am confident that everyone at Enstone and Viry will continue their hard work to help this team move forward. We’ll move on to the next one when we race again in Europe at Imola. Our team is very much in the mix and it is now up to us to stay highly motivated in this championship game.”