“This weekend they seem a lot more competitive”– Lando Norris analyzed how Alpine is getting closer to McLaren ahead of the third race.
It seemed like this year’s midfield competition would be an intense affair between the five teams- Alpine, McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Alpha Tauri.
However, only Ferrari and McLaren have consistent results in the last two races, with Alpha Tauri doing well in patches. But there is no sign of joy from Aston Martin and Alpine.
Now coming to Portugal, Alpine showed incredible pace in FP2 as Fernando Alonso secured P5 and Esteban Ocon finishing one place behind. This led Lando Norris to treat Alpine as a threat, and he is now worried about losing on Q3 on Saturday.
“The Alpine was very fast today,” he told Sky Sports after the session. We know [Ferrari] are quick, so if they’re ahead of us, it’s not a surprise, but normally we had a big gap to the Alpine the last two weekends.
“This weekend they seem a lot more competitive so it makes the chances of getting into Q3 a lot more difficult, two more cars we might be racing. It’s exciting but yeah it makes our life a bit more tricky, so it’s going to be tough.”
Happy day in Portugal
In the last Grand Prix, Alonso struggled in his car and landed behind his teammate. But on Friday in Portugal, he looked comfortable.
“It was a good practice day for me and the most comfortable I’ve had this season compared to Bahrain and Imola,” he said. “I was happy with the setup of the car quite early in the day.”
“So I concentrated mostly on becoming more acclimatised to the circuit and then evaluating the tyres over the two sessions. There is still lots of data for us to analyse, but it’s a good start to the weekend.”
“I enjoyed driving the circuit for the first time in a Formula 1 session, but I think traffic could be a challenge tomorrow in qualifying. It’s an exciting track to drive, that’s for sure.”