If not for the way the day finished, Alpine's performance in Friday's practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka International Racing Course would probably be best described as unremarkable.
Pierre Gasly was 12th in FP1 just ahead of his team mate Esteban Ocon. It was Ocon's turn to finish in P12 in the afternoon, while Gasly ended up down in 19th after causing a red flag at the end of the session.
Two minutes before the scheduled end to the day's track time, Gasly locked up going through Degner and was unable to scrub off speed in time before going off the track and nose-first into the barrier
It left the Alpine A523 with a shattered front wing and broken suspension, meaning the mechanics will have a busy evening ahead of them. Fortunately Gasly himself was uninjured in the incident.
"Unfortunately our day ended with a small off at turn 9 right at the end of Free Practice 2," he commented afterward.
"I just lost the front slightly and I could not correct it in time and that meant we slid through the gravel and into the barrier," he explained. "We will learn from it and move on.
"In terms of today’s performance there are a lot of things we can assess both on low and high fuel," he continued, keen to move on from the subject of the crash.
"The tyres are quite challenging and it’s something we’ll certainly aim to get on top of ready for the rest of the weekend," he said.
“At this stage of the race weekend, I would say we have some work to do and I’m sure there’s more to come from us," he noted. "It’s an extremely tight pack with one or two tenths splitting a lot of cars so extracting every detail tomorrow matters.”
Despite not cracking the top ten in either session on Friday, Ocon still felt confident that Alpine would pull off a strong qualifying session at Suzuka, which he described as "probably my favourite of the year".
"It was a busy day in the car today and we have learned a lot out on track in both sessions," he insisted.
"We also saw some good improvements from FP1 to FP2, and we put in some competitive lap times in the afternoon session.
"It only takes three or four tenths to gain a few positions so it’s extremely close amongst a number of cars. We have some work to do overnight and hopefully we can be in a good position tomorrow to have another strong qualifying.”