Ocon says ‘it’s a privilege’ to work with Alonso en route to first victory

Esteban Ocon credits two-time champion Fernando Alonso to work with as a teammate en route to his first F1 victory with Alpine in Hungary.

Ocon sat in P8 on the starting grid and was central to the chaos that occurred through Turn 1.

Despite being amid the bustling of engines, Ocon managed to escape damage and pit early to gain a good position for the restart.

The 24-year-old snatched up the top spot during the standing restart and managed to hold on all the way to the chequered flag.

READ MORE: Ocon extends contract with Alpine F1 until 2024

Ocon explained the race start in an interview with Sky Sports:

“On the radio, I said ‘What are we doing guys?’ and straight away they said ‘Box, Box’ so we boxed and next we were leading the race.”

“It was a tough fight with Sebastian [Vettel] and he was a bit quicker than us but it was a perfect pit stop from the guys, perfect course, and a perfect strategy.”

Ocon’s battle with Vettel allowed him to keep hold of first place and showed just how impressive a driver he is. His teammate, Fernando Alonso, also had a strong race as he crossed the line in fifth behind Carlos Sainz.

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In most respects, Alonso can be considered to have assisted Ocon to his victory.

For 10 laps, Alonso asserted a calculated defence as he kept seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton behind his less capable Alpine.

This prevented Ocon from being burdened with Hamilton on his back, as well as Vettel and Sainz and instead gave him the opportunity to storm away with the victory.

“We [Ocon and Alonso] are sharing information, pushing the team, and working towards the same goal which is winning in the future,” Ocon explained to Sky Sports.

“Today I am proud to be working with him [Alonso], it is a privilege and I hope we can share more podiums together.”

With Ocon’s first-ever F1 victory putting him 11th in the drivers’ standings, almost 18 years since his teammate Alonso secured his first victory for the Enstone outfit in Hungary.

The Spaniard sits 12th behind Ocon as Alpine finish on a high with fifth in the constructors’ championship before the summer break.

Editor’s note: Alonso is promoted to fourth place following Vettel’s disqualification after a required 1L fuel sample could not be taken from the Aston Martin.