Esteban Ocon says Alpine enjoyed a “solid” opening day of running in Bahrain on Friday, combining decent laps with a flawless execution of its workload.
Along with Red Bull and Williams, Alpine opted to run Ocon over the entire day and the latter made good use of his track time despite the challenging conditions swirling around Sakhir.
Amid gusty winds and sand, Ocon initiated his day’s program with aero correlation work before pushing on and completing 55 laps ahead of the mid-day break.
Conditions worsened in the early afternoon before they improved somewhat in the latter part of the day, enabling the Alpine driver to boost his mileage to 129 laps, the second-most of any driver on the first day of the official pre-season test.
Bahrain pre-season testing: Day 1 in pictures
“Everything went well today, and it was definitely a good first day back at school!” Ocon said.
“It was a solid one for the team, we completed the programme with ease and we even had time at the end of the day to do pit-stop practice with the team, which was quite nice as it meant we could get ourselves back into race situations.
“We put in some decent laps today and we learned everything we set out to achieve and that’s exactly what you need during test days.
“We faced all kinds of conditions as well: heat this morning then strong gusts and a sandstorm this afternoon, so pretty much everything except rain.
“That was interesting but we did what we needed to, and I look forward to driving the car again later this weekend.”
Fernando Alonso will be at the wheel of Alpine’s A521 on Saturday while the Spaniard and Ocon will share driving duties on Sunday.
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