Hungarian GP: Preview - Alpine


Esteban Ocon returns to the circuit which gave him his first victory in Formula 1 back in 2021 as he previews this year's Hungarian Grand Prix… a race where anything can happen.

How are you aiming to bounce back in Budapest after the last two Grands Prix?
Esteban Ocon: It's never a good feeling when you leave on Sunday without scoring any points and that has happened now twice in a row. It's very disappointing, especially after some positive races before that. Silverstone was particularly difficult with a tough weekend ending in a retirement due to a hydraulic leak in what was our home race for Enstone. We are frustrated as it is clear we are still not where we want to be in terms of results, especially given the fact we have not maximised the potential of the car and taken our opportunities. We've sat down and reviewed various things, and we've prepared this next couple of weeks as best as we could with physical preparation, simulator work, and various meetings. We will be looking to bounce back in Budapest and Spa, tracks where we've been good at in the past.

What do you expect from the next couple of races, the last two before the summer break?
EO: I expect us to keep our heads down, work hard, and focus on ourselves. After the last couple of weeks, it is clear we need to react quickly and make an impact on the track. We have also seen our close competitors make some big improvements and if we want to compete and beat them, we will have to up our own performance and execution. The Hungarian Grand Prix is this weekend, taking place at one of my favourite circuits, and where I had my first win a couple of years ago. We will look to deliver a strong result there and put our disappointment behind us. I know we are confident in our ability but it's up to all of us to turn that into good performances on Saturday and points on Sunday.

Budapest is one of your favourite circuits. What do you enjoy about it?
EO: I love driving at the Hungaroring. It's up there as one of my favourites and that's not just because I won there! It's a proper driver's circuit with lots of twists and turns, where overtaking can be difficult and tyre management is very important. Budapest as a city is beautiful and has a good vibe to it. It will be a bit different not heading straight into the summer break after the race weekend, as we usually do, but I am excited for the next two weekends where we know we need to deliver good results to go into this year's summer shutdown on a high.

After an unfortunate end to the race in Silverstone, Pierre Gasly is ready to come back strong in Budapest this weekend. A favourite on the Formula 1 calendar, the Frenchman looks forward to taking on the fast and flowing Hungaroring.

What is your mindset heading to Budapest after disappointment in Silverstone?

Pierre Gasly: We certainly deserved more as a team in Silverstone after we left there without scoring points. The pace was there in the race as we showed by being the mix for sixth or seventh place. The Safety Car timing compromised our plans as it allowed a handful of cars to jump ahead of us with an essentially free stop. And then, our race was pretty much over through no fault of our own as a result of suspension damage after a collision. Silverstone highlighted some things with our overall package, where we have strengths and where we have things to try to improve. My mindset is one of feeling positive and determined to return to scoring solid points in Budapest. I spent a very enjoyable week in England after the race, taking in London, watching the tennis in Wimbledon, and I'm definitely feeling fresh and ready to take on this weekend at the Hungaroring.

What do you like about Budapest and the Hungarian Grand Prix?
PG: I love Budapest. It's a fantastic city and one of my favourites of the season. The atmosphere there is always electric with so many fans both in the city and at the track supporting us. I do quite like the food in Hungary and I'm a fan of the nice architecture in the city. It's beautiful! Well-shaped and rounded like the Hungaroring! It's a fast track with a great flow to it, non-stop with momentum key to a fast lap. I hope it suits our package and we can have a competitive weekend where both Esteban and I strive to return to the points and target a strong end to the first half of the season before the summer break with both Budapest and Spa back to back.

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Published: 19/07/2023
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