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Austrian GP: Race team notes - Alpine

NEWS STORY
10/07/2022

BWT Alpine F1 Team finished today's Austrian Grand Prix with both drivers in the points as Esteban Ocon celebrated his 100th Formula 1 race start in style with a fifth-place finish with Fernando Alonso climbing from the back row of the grid to the points with an excellent comeback drive.

The team remains fifth in the Constructors' Championship on 81 points, level with McLaren.

Esteban's comfortable fifth place after executing a two-stop strategy brings his best race result of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after progressing from his sixth-place grid slot.

After replacing a number of parts on the car after yesterday's starting grid issues, Fernando propelled from the back row of the grid to tenth at the chequered flag. It's the second time this season Fernando has progressed from the final row to the points after doing so in Spain earlier in the year.

Esteban's race was largely uneventful as he benefitted from the retirements of Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz to go from sixth to fifth. Esteban started on Mediums and pitted on laps 16 and 44 for Hards to take him to the flag.

After starting on Hards, Fernando pitted on lap 27 for Hards, lap 57 for Mediums under the Virtual Safety Car and again as a precaution a lap later after feeling vibrations in the car.

The next race in two weeks' time sees the team gear up for its home race - the French Grand Prix - at Circuit Paul Ricard.

Esteban Ocon: "What a day, what a weekend! I think we really maximised the pace of the car today when it really mattered. It was a great way to cap off my 100th Grand Prix in Formula 1. There were some good fights on the track today, but in the end George [Russell] was too quick and fifth position was the best we could have achieved. We go home with some very good points after this weekend, moving up to eighth in the Drivers' Championship and now level with McLaren in the Constructors' Championship. As a team we are moving in the right direction and we have momentum on our side going into Paul Ricard, one of the team's home races, and of course mine as well. It should be an incredible weekend and I can't wait to be back in front of the home fans in two weeks' time."

Fernando Alonso: "One point is better than nothing considering we started on the back row today. I think it was one of my best races this season, other than probably at Silverstone last weekend. I think we were fighting for sixth or seventh positions, but then there were some strange vibrations on the tyres we fitted after our second stop under the Virtual Safety Car. As it was still under the VSC, we decided to stop again for another new set of tyres. Unfortunately, we lost some positions with this extra pit-stop and had to fight back on the last few laps. In the end we managed to take tenth position. Ultimately, only one point from this race feels a little bit of a shame for me, but we can be very happy with our overall pace and performance as a team this weekend."

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: "Firstly, congratulations to Esteban for marking his 100th Formula 1 Grand Prix start by scoring ten points in fifth place. He thoroughly deserved that after driving so well today and executing a very good two-stop strategy. By scoring so highly, combined with yesterday's effort in the Sprint, it means the team is continuing its momentum forwards after delivering some good upgrades at recent events. Fernando too drove exceptionally well to put behind yesterday's disappointment and go from the back of the grid through to a points-scoring position. We had some reliability issues this weekend, which means we cannot leave Austria feeling completely satisfied. We must focus on getting on top of these issues so we can have a trouble-free second half of the season. We clearly have a quick car, but we must also ensure all operational issues of the team are performing to a high standard, so we continue to score good points with both cars."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg here.

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