The BWT Alpine F1 Team scored points with both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon during Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, even though they were forced to use a strategy that was far from ideal.
Alonso ended eighth at the Hungaroring for an eighth consecutive race, but he was forced to use the unfavoured Hard compound for his second stint, a tyre that did not work as well as Pirelli had hoped.
The Spaniard revealed Alpine had no choice but to adopt this strategy due to a lack of available medium tyres, and they committed to making only one-stop during the race, a decision that ensured the team kept ahead of the McLaren F1 Team in the Constructors’ Championship.
“It was hard racing today and we are pleased to come away with a double points finish,” said Alonso. “We managed to avoid cars at a busy Turn 1 on lap one and we lost some positions.
“After that, we concentrated mostly on our race pace and we wanted to make the one-stop strategy work on the Hard tyres. We didn’t have two Medium compounds to choose from for the race and instead we maximised our tyre choice for Saturday’s Qualifying.
“Our pace yesterday made us feel quite optimistic for today and we were anticipating a better result. All in all, we are still ahead of McLaren heading into the summer break, so it’s a strong team result.”
Alonso hopes the team can continue to score points and maintain fourth place after the summer break, starting with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
“We just need to keep scoring points like we did today and hopefully this consistency will be our strength in the battle for fourth position in the Constructors,” said the Spaniard.
“I don’t think we quite maximised our potential” – Esteban Ocon
Team-mate Esteban Ocon was able to finish ninth to score two more points for Alpine, and the Frenchman also felt it was a positive result for the team.
Ocon admitted the one-stop strategy was a challenging one to make work, but they did as much as they could under the circumstances, and he was just about able to hold off the challenge of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team’s Sebastian Vettel at the end.
“We can be happy to score points with both cars today and that’s always a positive especially as we go into the season break,” said Ocon. “I don’t think we quite maximised our potential during the race and we’ll discuss as a team what we can do to improve.
“The one-stop was challenging today but we made it work to score points and I had to defend hard from Seb [Vettel] on the last lap.”
Ocon says it is pleasing to be heading into the summer break with Alpine sitting fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, but it will be important to maintain their form when the season resumes.
“Overall, we’re still heading into the break in fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and we’ll be hungry to extend our lead in a few weeks’ time,” he said. “I’m proud of the team for the improvements in performance over the last couple of months and we’ll aim to continue this upwards trajectory when the season returns after the well-deserved rest.”