Alonso says Alpine have found 'a little bit of a sweet spot'

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso believes Alpine is extending its new-found form into this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after putting its car in "a bit of a sweet spot".

Alonso and teammate Esteban Ocon enjoyed a productive opening day of running in Jeddah, concluding Friday's second practice respectively P5 and P6.

The pair's positive performance followed Alpine's strong showing in Qatar where Alonso finished third, earning his first F1 podium in seven years.

The result and Friday's performance bode well for the remainder of the weekend although the two-time world champion shied away from predicting where Alpine will find itself in the pecking order come qualifying on Saturday evening.

"The car is still feeling good," Alonso said. "Recently we found a little bit of a sweet spot in our performance and our setup, so we keep working.

"There are still quite a few unknowns for everybody in terms of setup and we will have to fine tune the cars tonight. I’m optimistic for tomorrow and it should be a good show for everyone."

Like his colleagues, Alonso was impressed with Jeddah's high-speed layout.

"It was a fun day today, and I like the track," he said. "Every new track requires a lot of work to go into it and I think we got through quite a lot today.

"The circuit feels fast as expected, but it seems to have quite high grip as well, which was a nice surprise, especially coming to a street circuit.

"Formula 2 helped today by cleaning the tarmac before we drove in the afternoon."

Ocon echoed his teammate's views and was equally surprised by Jeddah's grip level.

"We’ve seen new tracks in the past with poor grip, so it was a nice surprise here to be able to push straight away," commented the Frenchman.

"Overall, it’s a fun place and the car seemed to go quite well. It is only Friday, but I expect qualifying to be fast and exciting to watch."

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