Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Hungaroring, 2021

Alpine ‘humbled to stand among giants of F1’ after breakthrough win

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Alpine’s senior management say the team was “humbled” by its breakthrough Formula 1 victory, and praised its staff’s “resilience and dedication”.

Esteban Ocon took his maiden Formula 1 win in yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix after leading the race from lap three onwards, despite race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel. Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi praised the teamwork behind the win and singled out Ocon’s team mate Fernando Alonso for praise.

“I am incredibly proud and delighted with this result,” said Rossi. “For Esteban, for Alpine, for Renault Group, for Fernando and for the teams across the UK and France that have worked tirelessly to deliver the first victory for Alpine.

“Everyone has shown great resilience, dedication and passion to get this result – it was great teamwork all round, especially for Fernando and his incredible fighting spirit.

Alonso played a pivotal role in resisting Lewis Hamilton for 10 laps, helping secure the win for Ocon.

The victory is Alpine’s first since the team was rebadged this season and the first since the Renault Group re-entered Formula 1 as a full manufacturer in 2016.

“We are humbled by standing on the podium amongst the giants of this amazingly competitive sport,” Rossi added.

Executive director Marcin Budkowski paid tribute to Ocon who scored his first win in his second season after joining the team.

“Esteban was unbelievable today,” he said. “Huge congratulations to him for his first grand prix victory. It was a stressful race and it felt incredibly long.

“We put ourselves in a great position at the start, made the right calls during the race, the pit crew executed two perfect pit stops and then it was about holding all the way to the end.

“We knew Lewis would be a threat in the last laps but we must pay huge credit to Fernando for fighting hard to defend against him, as this helped a lot to protect Esteban’s position.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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24 comments on “Alpine ‘humbled to stand among giants of F1’ after breakthrough win”

  1. Now, there is a word that would never have been used by Abiteboul!

    1. @Mayrton What? Win? :)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        2nd August 2021, 12:01

        ha-ha! :-)

  2. His smile when his helmet came off, I was smiling along with him, in fact I think a lot of us were.

    He did do brilliantly and earned it. Took control of the race when the opportunity came and never let go. He held off the far more experienced Vettel and didn’t put a foot wrong -Which considering how close in performance the cars were, a mistake from him would have been Vettel’s only chance.

  3. I liked Abiteboul. Transparant, humble guy. But yes, no pushover and an intense character. Since he build the infrastructure we saw winning yesterday, this is his success as well.

    1. Cheryl (@genuinehulkfan)
      2nd August 2021, 11:54

      +1
      That is exactly my sentiment too! Just wish he was still there to see it.
      I really like Cyril and I miss him.

      1. @genuinehulkfan Same. I also miss him.

    2. Transparant, humble guy.

      Sorry, I missed the sarcasm emoticon.

  4. Still Renault to me.

    1. Well, at least it still says Renault on the side, and at least it’s not like Alfa Romeo or Aston Martin (Lawrence Stroll owns the team, and only a part of the manufacturer, the organizations are completely separate, so the name of the team is basically a sponsordeal), both organizations that are incapable of running an F1 team and who have nothing to do with the team, while Alpine is very much an integral part of Renault.

  5. I wish Alonso had made it onto the podium, making it as grand as Jordan’s maiden Formula 1 win at Spa in 1998 with Hill and R. Schumacher.

    1. Or Stewart Grand Prix’s first (only) victory with Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrichello.

  6. Not to take anything away from Alpine, Ocon or Alonso (it was great to see them do so well) but this was very much a case of everything working out in their favour!

    On almost any other track Vettel, Hamilton and others would have passed Ocon and he probably would’ve finished outside of the top 3.

    Anyway, still a great result and a very entertaining GP. Just not representative of Alpine’s pace currently.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      2nd August 2021, 12:04

      @sonnycrockett yes, the stars aligned to make that happen but the Alpine drivers both drove incredibly well to deliver this incredible result and the team’s perfect pit stop and decision to pit at the start helped guarantee the win! Although Vettel would have been disqualified even if he’d won.

      1. The Alpine-stars aligned

    2. Anyway, still a great result and a very entertaining GP. Just not representative of Alpine’s pace currently.

      Oh, who wouldn’t have guessed that, right? Despite the deserving victory in crazy circumstances Alpine still have only the 7th fastest car on the grid, in fact. Vettel had a car slightly faster than Ocon, as usually Aston Martin has been this season (ahead but not so far from Alpine) and AlphaTauri are slightly ahead them as well. As for McLaren and Ferrari, incontestably out of reach in normal conditions for now, Paul Ricard seems to be an one-off low for the Scuderia. We shouldn’t expect much change on that field for the rest of the season due to upgrade restictions. So Fernando and Esteban will have to brace themselves for more tricky races to come this year, always a big effort for them to score more than just a few points per race.

  7. A bit off-topic, but here goes. Coming from someone for whom English is not their first language, I am always baffled when people use the term “humbled” after a victory. Aren’t people humbled when they get their bottoms handed to them? Could someone from the UK please help explain? It just sounds really weird and fake to me.

    1. @j-l

      The English language is truly bizarre and I do feel sorry for anybody that speaks it as a second language!

      1. @sonnycrockett I wouldn’t go that far lol, but I do find this particular use case quite bizarre.

      2. All credit to everyone being native in English having the stomach to read our rubbish.

    2. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
      3rd August 2021, 0:56

      They just say it to appear humble, no weird second meaning. I agree it’s misguided and just makes them sound arrogant.

    3. @j-l For another languages in which “humbled” has a corresponding cognate, the meaning is closer to “modest”, someone who has the virtue of not getting carried away when achieving something or being praised. They could even have meant “honoured” instead of “humbled” given the negative connotation that the word he used has on English, which I know those two words seem unrelated or even opposed to a native English speaker but they have a semantic connection between their versions in many Latin-based languages. You’re honoured when you win fair and square but also you’re recognised for it, with authentic gratitude for those that made it possible, like seeing beyond by standing on the shoulders of giants.

  8. Alpine are a giant too as they are Renault. Seems Renault are already trying to get Alpine to xime accross as a small team.

  9. I’m so happy with the result of this amazing race! I was having a tough time seeing Alpine able to even reach the podium as things were going but, here comes that delightful surprise! Even being reminded that it obviously wouldn’t have happened in normal conditions the way this race was bossed by Alpine may very well be described as stunning, in such a way it was so shocking. What a lesson of teamwork Alpine gave on and outside the track, Esteban and Fernando must feel honoured together with their team.
    The race victory is for the Ocon/Alpine combination, of course, but Alonso was pretty much essential for this win to happen, with a defensive strategy performed so accurately, that contrary to what some buthurt out there said he has only reasons to feel proud and fulfilled, and additionally there will be plenty of chances for him to win a race anyway. The Alpine drivers working together was like a superb assist for a beautiful goal, in a way he hadn’t seen for such a long time in Formula 1. This is it, Fernando didn’t win the race but his performance was stellar once again, and that doesn’t take anything away from Esteban’s feat, who also didn’t cracked under pressure from a faster car by some margin almost all race.
    So much for Esteban critics, I guess, and as for those clueless people who doubted Fernando earlier this season they are even more far way to be seen. But some sour fans still think it was some kind of revenge from Fernando against Lewis, what winded us to the past in which they were arch-rivals. Those naive fans ignore how much both Lewis and Fernando had changed, however, for better or for worse. But as experienced drivers they’re certainly more cunning than ever, for sure.

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