Formula 1

Alpine’s Marcin Budkowski: “It was a stressful race and it felt incredibly long”

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Credit: Charniaux / XPB Images

Marcin Budkowski, the Executive Director of the Alpine F1 Team, says Esteban Ocon’s victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was an ‘incredible result’ for the whole team.

Ocon took the lead early on at the Hungaroring after pitting for dry weather tyres on the way to the grid for the restart, with the Frenchman profiting from race leader Lewis Hamilton’s failure to do so.  He then withstood race long pressure from Sebastian Vettel to take both his and Alpine’s first victory in Formula 1.

Team-mate Fernando Alonso also played his part, with the veteran Spaniard defending robustly from the recovering Hamilton to delay the reigning World Champion enough to allow Ocon enough breathing space to take the victory.

“What an incredible result, the first win for Esteban and for Alpine F1 Team,” said Budkowski. “Esteban was unbelievable today, 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 [Hamilton] 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.”

Budkowski says it was pleasing to be in a position to capitalise on the misfortune of others in a crazy race, but he hopes this victory will give the team the appetite to continue their drive to reach the front of the field.

“We’ve seen crazy races in the past and it’s about being there to capitalise on any opportunity and today we did just that,” added Budkowski.  “I’m so proud of this Team today, not only here at the track but also at Enstone and Viry, this is the reward for their hard work over the last few years.

“Let’s savour this win, it will give us the appetite for many more.”

“I am incredibly proud and delighted with this result” – Laurent Rossi

Laurent Rossi, the CEO of Alpine, says the resilience, dedication and passion of the team was rewarded with victory in Hungary, and he gave praise to both Ocon and Alonso for their efforts on Sunday afternoon.

Rossi says it had been an ‘incredible’ week for Alpine, with a dealership being opened in Hungary prior to the Grand Prix, Alonso’s fortieth birthday and finally, Ocon’s maiden Formula 1 victory.

“I am incredibly proud and delighted with this result; 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,” said Rossi.

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

“It has been an incredible week; we started with the opening of our Alpine dealership in Hungary, marked Fernando’s birthday and now we finish with a double French victory! We can celebrate this now and use as inspiration for further success as we carry on the Alpine journey well into the future.”

Esteban Ocon celebrates victory in Hungary – Credit: Charniaux / XPB Images
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