Tricky first day for Alpine in Monaco as bouncing and engine issues hinder the French team

By on

Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have endured a tricky start to their weekend at the Monaco Grand Prix, but they managed to raise their competitiveness for the second session.

Esteban Ocon had a messy first session as he experienced severe bouncing in his car. Alpine managed to find a remedy for the issue for the second session, but the Frenchman still feels that they have to find more pace in the car if they want to challenge for a strong starting spot.

“It’s great to be back in Monaco and driving at this legendary circuit. It’s been an interesting day. In Free Practice 1, the grip was quite tough and it was all about building the speed lap by lap and trying to get as close to the walls as possible in order to improve lap-time. I would say the second session was better for us as we made some good improvements and steps forward.

"We managed to learn a lot – we still have more to work on – but I would say we’re in a good place at this stage. We will continue the hard work, put it into practice ahead of Qualifying, and aim to be in a good position tomorrow afternoon.”

Pierre Gasly's day did not start as he hoped for as a power related issue kept him in the garage for most of the opening session. Although Alpine managed to fix the technical gremlin, he could only rack up a total of ten laps.

The Frenchman then completed a more encouraging second session, but he had difficulties with getting Pirelli's soft tyres into their operating window.

“I had a tricky Free Practice 1 due to an issue on the car. We were able to fix it during the session but it still meant that we did not get much running in. Free Practice 2 was mainly about getting a good feel for the car at this circuit and trying to push the limits as much as possible.

"At times, I probably pushed too much, but I did feel quite comfortable in the car so that’s positive. My run on Softs was a little messy. I did not quite put together all three sectors, so there are definitely things to learn and more to extract.

"We will continue to work hard in fine tuning everything ahead of the all-important Qualifying tomorrow afternoon," added the one-time F1 race winner.