Alan Permane was full of praise for the teamwork done by the BWT Alpine F1 Team during Qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday, and they were rewarded with the fifth and sixth fastest times in Q3.
Esteban Ocon was the quicker of the two drivers in fifth, with Fernando Alonso just behind in sixth, but a penalty for the former relegates him to seventeenth on the grid. The latter, on the other hand, profits from the penalty, as well as from the penalties from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, and will start third.
Both drivers offered tows down the long Kemmel Straight during the session, which enabled them to find extra speed and lap time, and it meant they were able to out-qualify both McLaren F1 Team drivers, their closest rivals in the Constructors’ Championship.
Permane, the Sporting Director at Alpine, says scoring points with both cars on Sunday is the aim, although he knows the likes of Verstappen and Leclerc, in much faster cars, coming through the field will make it difficult to maintain third place.
“We’re very happy with today’s performance in Qualifying with Esteban fifth, Fernando sixth and, importantly, ahead of our rivals,” said Permane. “What pleases me most is the teamwork by everyone today, including both drivers who did a great job in executing our plan.
“Esteban does have a power unit penalty for tomorrow, which means he starts close to the back of the grid, but, with others doing the same, Fernando will start in third place and has an excellent chance for a good result.
“There are faster cars behind us – Max [Verstappen] and Charles [Leclerc] – but we’ll remain focused on our race and remain vigilant to beat those with who we are really competing on track. We’ll be doing everything we can to maximise our points haul in tomorrow’s race.
“That’s our objective and I believe scoring with both cars is possible.”