Fernando Alonso and Alpine enjoyed a strong first day of running in Budapest, and the Spaniard thinks things can get even better.
Alonso finished FP1 up in P6 at the Hungaroring and remained towards the top end of the midfield in the afternoon, taking P7. His team-mate Esteban Ocon was fairly high up too, finishing in P11 and P4 in FP1 and FP2 respectively.
On the whole, Alpine looked like one of the strongest midfield teams, being only one of two to get two cars in the top 10 in FP2.
What’s more, Alonso thinks that things can get even better for them.
“Yeah, it was okay,” he said after the second practice session.
“It was very hot and humid today so it was a very demanding day physically, for the mechanics as well and for everyone in the team, but we did manage to complete the whole program, testing the three compounds of tyres.
“I think we are not totally happy with the balance yet so there’s more to come and hopefully tomorrow we can see more performance.”
On previous occasions this season, Alpine have looked very strong in Friday practice before ultimately struggling when it matters, failing to make it to Q3.
Given that, Alonso isn’t getting too carried away by the strong pace of his car in Hungary.
“We saw a few weekends where Friday seemed more competitive than what we saw on Saturdays and Sundays,” he added.
“So we’re still with our feet in the ground knowing that Q3 is still a big target for us, and let’s see what we can do, but yeah, so far, so good.”
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) July 30, 2021
One of the biggest talking points from the first day of running was the high temperatures, with the surface 64’C at one point in FP2.
Ocon thinks it’s the highest temperature he has ever seen, and says it makes things harder.
“The conditions were very tricky with the heat, which must be a record here. I’ve never seen track temperatures above 60C in my career!” he said.
“It’s very challenging to deal with the warm temperatures and having to manage the tyres, brakes and the car is a big exercise.
“Understanding all of that is key, but it looks like it will be much cooler tomorrow. Today we were competitive, and the car felt decent on the one lap we did on Softs. It’s a positive start to the weekend.”