Alonso starts strongly with 'good experience' on Friday

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. 17.06.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Practice
© XPB 

It was another strong Friday practice performance for Alpine and for Fernando Alonso in particular, after the two-time world champion was in the top five in both sessions at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Alonso was third fastest in FP1, just 0.373s behind pace setter Max Verstappen after the first hour on track. While he slipped back slightly to fifth in the later practice, he was still only four tenths off the Red Bull.

“I think it was another decent Friday for us today," Alonso reported after the chequered flag. "The car seems to be performing quite well at this challenging track here in Montreal.

"We haven’t raced in Canada for a number of years and it does feel a bit different than in previous years," he continued. Things like riding the kerbs gives a very different feeling with the ground effect cars.

"Overall, it was a good experience today," he added. "It looks like it could be a mixed weather forecast tomorrow, so we tried to get as much data as we could in preparation for the race.”

Alonso's team mate Esteban Ocon had a quiet start to the weekend, finishing 15th in first practice after damaging the A522 midway through FP1.

"Esteban caught some debris on-track during the session, which forced his front right brakes to overheat," reported chief technical officer Pat Fry.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A522. 17.06.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal

"We were able to clean the part to get him back out for some of the session before making further amends over the interval.

"After the misfortune in FP1, he was able to grow into his running as the day progressed," Fry said.

"Fernando enjoyed a smoother afternoon and was generally happier with his base set-up from the get-go, and that’s probably reflected on the timesheets.

“It’s been a relatively productive Friday," he confirmed. "Once some rubber was laid down, the track improved quite a lot and we were able to progress through our run plans

"Our long runs looked quite sensible with both drivers running hard tyres towards the end of the second practice session.

"We’ll be keeping a close look on the weather as rain is forecast throughout the weekend here in Montreal, and we could well see a wet qualifying session.”

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