5. 11. 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team claimed seven points from today’s São Paulo Grand Prix as Pierre Gasly climbed his way from fifteenth on the grid to seventh at the chequered flag and Esteban Ocon from fourteenth to tenth in a strong Sunday effort from the team in Interlagos.
The race was red flagged after a multi-car incident on the opening lap with both Esteban and Pierre reacting well to navigate their way through the chaos to gain a handful of places. At the restart, Pierre gained two places to rise to ninth place with Esteban up a place to tenth.
From there, strategy dominated the 71-lap race with Esteban on a three-stop Soft-Medium-Soft-Soft plan and Pierre on a two-stop Soft-Medium-Soft strategy; both drivers ending the race on new Softs. Pierre had a tyre advantage on Esteban on lap 49, as Esteban allowed Pierre to pass in a bid to chase Lewis Hamilton in front. And, along with putting in the Fastest Lap of the race at the time, Pierre was able to close down the seven-time world champion before a neat move into Turn 1 to take eighth place, eventually becoming seventh once all cars completed pit-stops. Esteban then made his final stop a few laps later, aiming to close down the other Mercedes of George Russell for the final point. The Briton retired on lap 59, giving Esteban a smooth ride to tenth place.
After an intense triple header, the team looks ahead to the Las Vegas Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.
Esteban started from P14 on Used Softs (L2, change to Used Softs under the red flag, L14 pit-stop for New Mediums, L31 for used Softs, Lap 53 for new Softs). Fastest Lap: 1:14.206
Pierre started from P15 on Used Softs (L2 change to Used Softs under the red flag, L26 pit-stop for New Mediums, Lap 48 for New Softs). Fastest Lap: 1:14.521
Esteban Ocon, started P14, finished P10: “Today we had a small reward with one point after a challenging race. We had a great start, gaining some positions while also avoiding the chaos in front. Unfortunately, we saw very quickly that we had very high degradation throughout and had to go for a three-stop race. We had planned for this as we saw some signs yesterday that this could be a factor, so that is something we will assess going forward. Nevertheless, a good day in the office for the team with both cars in the points and a good step since yesterday’s performance in the Sprint Race. Our focus now shifts to Las Vegas, the penultimate race of the season, which promises to be a spectacular experience where we hope to deliver another strong result.”
Pierre Gasly, started P15, finished P7: “I’m very happy with today’s race and I would say it was one of our best performances of the season. It was a very challenging race to manage with multiple stints and pit-stops, but the entire team did a great job today to make the right calls and execute the stops well. For the team, in seventh and tenth, it’s clearly a strong performance, especially after starting from near the back of the grid. We competed with Carlos [Sainz] and the two Mercedes throughout, so that is clearly a good step forwards from yesterday. Next up is Las Vegas, which will no doubt be a cool experience. I’m excited for it, as I always am for new races, and it is up to us to enter that race as prepared as possible and give it our all on-track.”
Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal: “It’s been a very good team effort today where we’ve been able to significantly improve our performance from yesterday’s Sprint and convert our difficult grid positions into the points with both cars. It was not an easy race to manage, both for the team with the strategy calls and pit-stops, and for the drivers, who had to smartly work their way through the chaos at the start. In the end, it is seven strong points for the team, which is a good way to round off this triple header. For the last two races of the season, we need to keep our heads down, find ways to be faster from the start of the weekend to be in a better position on Sundays on the grid. I have been impressed by everyone’s togetherness and teamwork and now we look ahead to Las Vegas for the penultimate race of the 2023 season.”