In Japan, the Alpine team earned points for the first time since the Dutch Grand Prix with two cars: Esteban Ocon finished ninth, Pierre Gasly tenth. Ocon and Valtteri Bottas touched each other at the start, but the A523 car survived the impact and the French driver continued to fight.
In the closing laps of the race, Pierre Gasly had fresher tires than his teammate, so the team asked Ocon to let Gasly go ahead so he could try to compete with Fernando Alonso. Pierre was unable to overtake, so he returned to ninth position.
Esteban Ocon (9th): “First of all, it’s great that we earned points with two cars. I think the team did an excellent job today in optimizing the strategy and we showed good speed.
The start was difficult due to an incident on the first lap that could easily have ended my race. However, I managed to fight back, control the condition of the tires, make good pit stops and earn some points.
We showed a great example of teamwork in an attempt to earn more points. We probably earned the most today.
At the end of the stage there is a lot to study and discuss. We aim to return stronger to Qatar in two weeks.”
Pierre Gasly (10th): “Firstly, we completed a series of double stages, with two cars finishing in the top ten after starting from twelfth position. I’m happy with the race and the fact that the car was fast on Medium and Hard tires, which allowed me to earn points.
We proved to be competitive and were close to overtaking Fernando Alonso. The team has a lot to think about to perform better next time. In the end we earned points with two cars and that is the most important thing.”
Source: F1 News
I am Christopher Clyde, an experienced journalist and content writer with a passion for sports. I have been writing about Formula 1 news for the past five years and am currently employed as an author at athletistic.com, one of the top sports websites in the US.