Fernando Alonso shocked by small gaps in Barcelona and gives hope to fans of a surprise result at his home race in Spain. After the first day of testing in Barcelona, seventeen drivers on the grid finished Free Practice 2 within a second of the best time set by Dutchman Max Verstappen.
Fernando Alonso, who set the second fastest time of the day in Barcelona on Friday, just a tenth off Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, was very surprised by the small gaps that emerged during the second free practice session, with seventeen drivers within a second of the fastest time.
Surprises in store this weekend?
At the end of the first day of testing in Catalonia, only three drivers (Stroll, Albon and Sargeant) finished more than a second behind the FP2 leader on Friday afternoon, which suggests to Fernando Alonso that the rest of the weekend could hold a few surprises in store.
“It’s so close on one lap that I think a few tenths will put you in a completely different position in the standings, so you shouldn’t read too much into the times,” said Alonso on Friday evening in Barcelona.
“We followed our test programme this morning in Free Practice 1 and discovered the prototype tyres, with the track a little slower than expected.”
“The improvements we’ve introduced are improving the car’s performance and we’re happy with that so far, but we’ll have to see where we are tomorrow when everyone pushes [in qualifying].”
Alonso in demand in Spain
Certainly, the Spaniards’ assessment of the chances of a good result would be fueled by fan support and his desire to replicate another Valencia 2012 where the then Ferrari driver beat the dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel to take an emotional victory in front of his home crowd.
Fernando Alonso has been in great demand since Thursday from the fans who have turned out in large numbers this weekend to support him, and is hoping to thrill his fans this Saturday in qualifying with a pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix.
“Many of the grandstands are green and our Aston Martin products are very popular. The fans have been incredible and it’s great to see their support. I hope we can put on a good show for them tomorrow,” concluded the two-time world champion.
Prior to the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso was third in the drivers’ championship, twelve points behind Sergio Perez of Mexico.