Alonso "incredible" in F1 defence against Hamilton - Alpine

Alpine Formula 1 has praised Fernando Alonso's role in helping teammate Esteban Ocon win the Hungarian Grand Prix, saying the Spaniard was "absolutely incredible" in holding up Lewis Hamilton.

Ocon took the lead after a chaotic, wet opening lap and restart, at which leader Hamilton was the only driver not to dive into the pits for slicks.

Hamilton paid a price for that by coming in on the next lap in green conditions, dropping him down the order with Ocon grabbing an unlikely lead.

While Ocon successfully defended his first ever grand prix lead against Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, Alpine's real threat came from behind as Hamilton climbed up the order.

But the Mercedes driver's comeback was stunted by Ocon's teammate Alonso, who displayed a defensive masterclass to prevent Hamilton from taking fourth for 11 laps.

Alonso thus eliminated the world champion's chances of eventually catching Ocon as he settled for third on the road, which later became second as Vettel was disqualified for a fuel infringement.

Ocon was quick to praise Alonso's role in securing his maiden F1 win and Alpine also heaped praise on the 40-year-old Spaniard for his share in the Enstone team's first win in its new guise.

"[Alonso was] incredible, absolutely incredible," said Alpine's sporting director Alan Permane. "Honestly, he's happy for us, he's happy for Esteban but I know he's frustrated because he wants to win."

Permane acknowledged Alonso' work holding Hamilton up was crucial as the Spaniard defended brilliantly, in particularly in the fast run up to Turns 4 and 5, until a lock-up in Turn 1 allowed Hamilton past.

"100%. Undoubtedly, crucial," said Permane. "It was 11 laps I believe.

"If he'd have got past him on the first lap, like he got past Carlos [Sainz, ahead of Alonso in third] on the first time past I'm sure Lewis would have been there.

"I think what we would have done is then just drop back a bit, give Seb the DRS and use that to protect a little bit but I don't know if we would have held him off."

Read Also:

Alonso said he was aware of the race situation by looking at the big screens around the track and didn't need Alpine telling him how crucial it was to delay Hamilton's rise through the ranks.

"No, the team didn't tell me anything, but I knew more or less what the situation of the race was," he explained. "I was looking at the biggest screens, I knew that Esteban and Vettel were fighting, and they were like two corners in front of us.

"With 20 laps to the end and Lewis coming two or three seconds faster, that was enough to win the race probably, so I knew that every lap I could hold him behind, that was gold for Esteban's win."

shares
comments

Related video

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

Previous article

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

Next article

Hamilton ‘proud’ of Vettel for F1 stand with ‘Same Love’ t-shirt

Hamilton ‘proud’ of Vettel for F1 stand with ‘Same Love’ t-shirt
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Prime

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021