Alpine’s Fernando Alonso praised Formula One’s new Sprint Qualifying format after finishing seventh, which becomes his grid slot for the 2021 British Grand Prix.
Having previously experienced three different Qualifying formats during his time in F1, Alonso started the Sprint Qualifying sat 11th on the grid yet initially leapt up to fifth on the soft tyres before clinging on to finish seventh after being displaced by McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
Speaking to media post session, Alonso revealed that he felt that Sprint Qualifying was “good” and noted that “I had a lot of fun.”
Explaining how his race unfolded, the two-time F1 champion said: “Our start was good and I climbed quite a few places from eleventh to fifth in the first few corners. We then lost a few positions back to the McLarens and held onto seventh at the end.”
Alonso however confessed to feeling that “some small improvements” can be made to the format to endure more excitement across the Sprint, with the format next set to be trialled at the Italian Grand Prix, in Monza, Italy across weekend of 10-12 September 2021.
Esteban Ocon meanwhile recovered from qualifying 13th on Friday evening (16 July) to finish tenth which left the Frenchman “pretty pleased” and feeling positive in that is where he should of qualified in the first place.
Both Alpine drivers ran Sprint Qualifying on the soft tyre which Ocon praised as the correct decision, commenting: “The call by the team to start on Softs was good and I had a quick start off the line to gain some positions.”
Ocon also confessed to liking the new format for adding “action and dynamism” to the race weekend plus “uncertainty”, with flexibility now open in the strategy box for the main race due to all drivers having free choice on starting tyres.
Alpine Racing Director, Davide Brivio noted that the decision to start on soft tyres “was a calculated risk” yet one which paid dividends, yet iterated that they needed “to try and consolidate” their progress tomorrow where the points are on offer for all top ten finishers.