Fernando Alonso said Alpine were unsure how well they would fare in Hungary, so getting both cars into Q3 was a good result.
The midfield battle has broken off into three different sections and in the middle one, Alpine find themselves nine points behind P5 outfit AlphaTauri.
It is the kind of deficit which can easily be overturned, especially when both cars will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from inside the top 10.
Esteban Ocon claimed P8 on the grid, while Alonso will line up P9 – a result that satisfies the team after Alonso revealed some concerns they had over their competitiveness at the Hungaroring.
“Happy with the day,” Alonso told reporters after qualifying.
“I think it was a circuit that we had some concerns about our level of competitiveness, but both cars in Q3 – it’s a while that we didn’t achieve it.
“So that was a good weekend so far, but the points are given tomorrow so we need to execute a good race.
“I think here everything is based on Saturday and it’s difficult to overtake, so hopefully we get a good start and after that we will be managing the tyres and managing the positions.
“So we have a high chance to score with both cars and that is the target for tomorrow.”
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) July 31, 2021
Ocon said the Hungaroring is one of his favourite tracks and is glad to be starting P8 at a venue where overtaking does not come easily.
“It was a very decent session,” he said.
“I think there was quite a lot of understanding going through it because we didn’t have such great pace in Q2, it was just enough to go through.
“But once we arrived in Q3 really it started to come together. I’m pretty pleased because it’s one of my favourite tracks here.
“I enjoyed that session, it was hard work. It is good to start in the points because it’s hard to pass here, so a good starting position for tomorrow.”
Asked if his race pace will be enough to fight or simply hang on, Ocon replied: “I think first we have the race pace to hang on. We will definitely aim to attack, obviously in front.
“But that will be another story, the track temperature will go up, it will be hard to manage the tyres but we are aiming for big points.”