The Alpine F1 Team did everything they could to maximise their race result in Sunday’s São Paulo Grand Prix, although team orders were not enough to deny Pierre Gasly seventh place.
Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso were both running inside the top ten throughout the race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and were running seventh and eighth after Gasly had made his second pit stop.
Ocon allowed Alonso through to try and keep the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver behind them until the chequered flag, but Gasly’s fresher tyres meant he was able to pass both, while Alonso allowed Ocon back through late in the day to take eighth.
“I’m happy to be back in the points today after a very busy race,” said Ocon. “Today was all about our strong teamwork between all of us.
“We tried to maximise everything the best we could, and we pushed everything to the limit both from a performance and tactical point of view. When Gasly pitted for the second time, I gave the place to Fernando to see if we could hold him behind by giving me a tow. It worked for a couple of laps, but it was not enough in the end and Fernando returned the place.
“Still, eighth and ninth position at the flag gives us six points and that’s a great team result, which is important for the Constructors’ Championship. It’s still tight, we head to two unknown tracks next and we’ll keep pushing as much as we can to hold onto this position.”
“It’s good to see both cars in the points again” – Fernando Alonso
Team-mate Alonso was happier with his performance during Sunday’s race than he had been in Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying, although he would have preferred to see the team finishing higher than eighth and ninth.
Alonso says the team were unlucky with the timing of the virtual safety car in São Paulo, while the decision to only pit once cost them towards the end of the race as those who pitted twice, such as Gasly and the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, were able to gain in performance as the Alpine’s stagnated.
However, Alonso was pleased that both Alpine’s were able to score points and continue to stay level on points with AlphaTauri heading into the final three races of the season.
“I am happy with our result today after a difficult day yesterday,” said Alonso. “The start and the restart didn’t play to our hands but then we had really good pace once it all settled down.
“We were a little unlucky with the Virtual Safety Car that happened, as we weren’t able to box and, in the end, we did lose some time with that. Once we were back out our pace was strong. We only chose to stop once and despite some teamwork to try and stop Pierre (Gasly) from the overtake, we weren’t able to hold him off.
“It’s good to see both cars in the points again and we are still level with Alpha Tauri for fifth heading into Qatar next weekend, so we’ll aim to continue this form.”