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Ocon pays tribute to "tricky" teammate Alonso

NEWS STORY
02/08/2021

Hungarian Grand Prix winner, Esteban Ocon has paid tribute to his teammate, two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso.

When he finally found his way to the podium - having parked up in the wrong spot and consequently earned himself a reprimand - there waiting to greet him was Esteban Ocon's teammate, Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard clearly delighted at the result.

Indeed, while all credit is due to Ocon, Alonso played his part in the Frenchman's victory, giving him precious breathing space by refusing to yield to a clearly faster Lewis Hamilton, and in the process thrilling fans with one of the great battles of the season.

In the moments after the race, Ocon was keen to pay tribute to the Spaniard.

"I heard many different things about Fernando, what I heard before he came to the team, I heard he was a tricky teammate to work with, that he was playing tricks, that he was not fair with the team, that he was ruthless. But what I'm having with Fernando is fantastic," he grinned. "He is sharing information, pushing the team, towards the same goal, which is winning in the future.

"Today I'm proud to be working with him, its a privilege, he is such a legend... I hope we can share more podiums."

Referring to his win, the Frenchman beamed: "What a moment, what a moment!" he said. "It feels so good. It's the first victory obviously since the Renault group came back into Formula 1.

"We had some difficult moments this season that we overcame together with the team. We've come back to a fantastic place in Silverstone.

"And today, what can I say? it's fantastic... the win is also thanks to Fernando, with the fights that he did. It's teamwork, all that. I think it's been a fantastic day."

Things haven't been easy for Ocon this season, in a string of races between Azerbaijan and Austria he failed to score any points, suffering an engine issue in Baku and accident damage on the opening lap at the Red Bull Ring. Indeed, at both races at the 'Ring he failed to make it into Q2.

No surprise therefore that Ocon took the opportunity to thank Alpine for sticking with him.

"When you are out in Q1, when you are P17, you don't know where you are exactly, but the team kept the big trust," he said.

"Now we're back where we belong, so that's fantastic. Seb was mega quick the whole race, put me under big pressure. But yeah, we managed to hold him off so that was a great effort."

Check out our Sunday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 03/08/2021 9:11

"Hungary was a reminder of just how good Alonso is. That plus the 10/10 that Ocon has given him as a fellow team member at Alpine serves to show what a dedicated driver he really is. His time driving in WEC showed how well he integrated with his team, all driving the same car,and those same team drivers also commented on what a great guy he was to work with and that Alonso was dedicated team player. I am so glad to see him back in F1. A 'racer's racer' without the hubris."

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2. Posted by Carsten B, 02/08/2021 13:32

"True that even with a 3 sec/lap advantage it is difficult to overtake at this track, next time out however, at Spa, it will be a different story. We will se highway overtakes on the Kemmel straight with DRS. And hopefully the weather in the Ardennes will throw up another thriller with (usual) semi wet conditions.

Let's hope that the '22 onwards regulations will give us much more mechanical grip and less aero dependence. At Hungaroring, even with DRS, not many opportunities for overtaking are available. You have to come out of the last corner very close to the guy in front, if not even DRS will not get you close enough to attempt an overtaking in corners 1/2. "

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3. Posted by Pavlo, 02/08/2021 12:58

"I enjoyed this fight a lot as well, but with a bit of a bitter taste. This was a perfect explanation why there are so few overtakes in the modern F1.
Lewis had 3 seconds (!) per lap advantage over Alonso, before and after the fight. And with that huge difference, they had a spectacular fight. But normally such difference is more than enough for these drivers not to be anywhere close. Such fight is only possible after such a big crash.
Even 1 second per lap, which is normally still a massive difference, there is no chance for even a meaningful attack, not to say "fight". And we saw it with Lewis earlier in the race, and Vettel all the time.
Even worse, this means that in every fight that happens, the attacker has huge speed difference, defender has no chance to fight back, and 5 seconds penalty for pushing off the track starts being too low and tempting price to pay."

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4. Posted by Carsten B, 02/08/2021 12:05

"Indeed the defensive that Alonso put on to keep Hamilton back for a number of laps helped Ocon. These laps where Hamilton was hounding Alonso showed some of the best defensive driving I have seen for a while. Alonso placing his Alpine exactly where it made life most difficult for Hamilton - to the point of Hamilton starting to whine. The defence was hard but fair. Enjoyed that scrap a lot."

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