The Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon had a fantastic Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday as the Frenchman scored his first ever Grand Prix victory from eighth place on the grid and speaking following the action he said:
Formula 1 Grand Prix winner, it’s unbelievable and it definitely has not sunk in yet. What a moment, allez les bleus! It was a crazy race from the very start to the end. There were a lot of decisions to make and the team executed that really well along with the crew who did a mega pit-stop, which was crucial to staying in front of Sebastian [Vettel]. I was happy to manage the pace as best as possible at the front and it all worked out well today. What a fight from Fernando too, his amazing teamwork at the end played a huge part in the win and it was great to share the moment with him. I can’t be thankful enough for the team’s work and support and it’s all paid off today. A big thanks as well to everyone at Enstone and Viry – this is for you!
Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine, started the race from ninth place on the grid and had a great getaway avoiding the first lap carnage and led the race and came home in fourth place after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from the race.
Speaking following the action, the Spaniard said:
It was a very long race, very tough, and we were fighting all the way through. The start was key – I was a bit unlucky and lost some positions, but some were even unluckier than me. It compromised our race a little, however, top five is the best result of the year for me so far, but winning the race for the team is the best result ever. Now we have quite some history on this track! My first victory came here with Renault in 2003, now Esteban has won as Alpine in 2021. I am so happy for him and for the guys. Sometimes we have been unlucky but today was one of the lucky days and we have to maximise these opportunities. We can execute races close to perfection if luck is with us. We’ve been up and down, but we can now look forward to the future and repeat the success of the past. These boosts motivate us, and we can go into the break with a smile on our faces.
Chief Executive Officer of Alpine, Laurent Rossi commented saying:
I am incredibly proud and delighted with this result; for Esteban, for Alpine, for Renault Group, for Fernando and for the teams across the UK and France that have worked tirelessly to deliver the first victory for Alpine. Everyone has shown great resilience, dedication and passion to get this result – it was great teamwork all round, especially for Fernando and his incredible fighting spirit. We are humbled by standing on the podium amongst the giants of this amazingly competitive sport. It has been an incredible week; we started with the opening of our Alpine dealership in Hungary, marked Fernando’s birthday and now we finish with a double French victory! We can celebrate this now and use as inspiration for further success as we carry on the Alpine journey well into the future.
The win and fourth place finish has moved the Enstone based outfit into fifth place in the championship on 75 points heading into the Summer break.
Speaking following the action, Alpine F1 Team Executive Director Marcin Budkowski commented saying:
What an incredible result, the first win for Esteban and for Alpine F1 Team. Esteban was unbelievable today, huge congratulations to him for his first Grand Prix victory. It was a stressful race and it felt incredibly long. We put ourselves in a great position at the start, made the right calls during the race, the pit crew executed two perfect pit-stops and then it was about holding all the way to the end. We knew Lewis [Hamilton] would be a threat in the last laps, but we must pay huge credit to Fernando for fighting hard to defend against him, as this helped a lot to protect Esteban’s position. We’ve seen crazy races in the past and it’s about being there to capitalise on any opportunity and today we did just that. I’m so proud of this Team today, not only here at the track but also at Enstone and Viry, this is the reward for their hard work over the last few years. Let’s savour this win, it will give us the appetite for many more.
The next race on the F1 calendar is the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa Francorchamps circuit on Sunday 29th August.