Esteban Ocon finished Fp2 as the best of the rest, putting his Alpine in P4 and showing that the French team has the chance to score good points in Hungary.
Back in Silverstone, Alpine decided to change Ocon’s chassis, and the Frenchman managed to score points for the first time after the Monaco GP. Two weeks later, Ocon admitted being happy with the car’s behavior after FP2.
“I’m pretty happy – it’s been a good day,” he said. “It’s pretty tricky with the conditions, very, very hot. I can’t remember a moment where the track was above 60 degrees, so it is extreme. But we’ve been doing good learnings from the long run, from the short run.
“From FP1 when we put the car down, the car felt pretty strong on the hard tire. We had a little bit of traffic in P1, but it was a free lap in P2, and putting it together felt quite nice, so pretty pleased,” he added.
Ocon also admitted that the fight to stay in the top ten is pretty close, pointing out that the traffic will also play an important role in qualifying.
“It’s super close. We are well in the top 10 now, so we’ll need to see what happens tomorrow in qualifying when everyone pushes flat out. It’s a small circuit. I think having a traffic-free lap, some good tire management, and some good communication with the team is going to be key so hopefully, we’re going to be able to do that.
“But a productive Friday. Tomorrow might be cooler, so we’ll reset a bit but we had a good Friday and the car seems to be in good shape.”
On the other hand, Ocon’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, was not as happy as the Frenchman. The Spaniard spun in FP1 and was only in P7 in FP2.
“It was okay,” said Alonso. “It was very hot and humid, so it was a very demanding day physically, for the mechanics as well, for everyone in the team. But we did manage to complete the whole program, no issues there, testing the three compounds of tires, a lot of information.
“I think we’re not happy with the balance yet, so still more to come, and hopefully tomorrow we can see more performance.
“I don’t think that Fridays are important,” added Alonso. “We saw a few weekends where our Fridays seemed a little bit more competitive than Saturday and Sunday. So we’re still with our feet on the ground, knowing that Q3 is still a big target for us, so let’s see what we can do.”