Spanish GP: Alonso says “don’t pay too much attention to the times”

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Photo credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

It was a typically sunny Friday in Catalunya for the F1 grid and as the teams got their first taste of the Pirelli tyre compound during Free Practice, Max Verstappen topped the timesheets in both sessions, though in front of his home fans, Fernando Alonso was not far off in FP2, less than two tenths of a second separating both double world champions as the Spaniard approaches the milestone of having competed in exactly one third of all Grand Prix once we get to Sunday’s race.

Aston Martin, like others have brought some upgrades to Spain but Alonso reckons you shouldn’t pay much heed to the times just yet:

“I think it’s so tight that one or two tenths will put you in a completely different spot in the classification, so yeah, don’t pay too much attention on the times. We went through all the programs that we had before the practice, which is the good thing. Learning about the tyres, the track is a little bit slower than what we predicted, so there’s still more time to find. We have more tweaks on the setup, but it was a productive Friday.”

This positive, complimentary, team player version of Alonso we are now seeing was quite happy with how the new upgrades are performing so far:

“There is not a new part that we put in the car that is not helping the performance, so that’s something that has always been the case with the team from Bahrain. So, yeah, happy with the upgrades and let’s see tomorrow when everyone goes to full power where we are.”

Of course he is correct in that as ever with Free Practice sessions, you cannot judge yourself against the competition just yet, and the slightly different track layout means in places the teams don’t have quite the same yard stick to judge car’s performance against. The Spanish fans were out in force in the stands, with an overwhelming sea of green Aston Martin caps, which the 41-year-old derives great joy from seeing:

“On the grandstand, it’s green, which is amazing. I think this is going back to 2005, 2006, 2007 years where everything was in one colour. So, I really feel that support, that special energy. It was amazing, the fans in the forum this morning, and while driving I cannot hear them, but I feel how enthusiastic they are, so hopefully we put on a good show.”

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

With the knowledge a win was on the cards last weekend in Monaco, will this home support drive the local hero to pull something extra special out of the bag this weekend with these new upgrades or shall the Red Bull’s continue their unbroken streak?