Esteban Ocon shocked the Formula 1 world as he picked up the first win of his Formula 1 career in Hungary last year, in an incident-filled race in mixed conditions.
Valtteri Bottas braking late into Turn 1 in the wet conditions saw the Finn cause a pile up, which saw multiple cars retire and Max Verstappen pick up damage that severely hindered his car’s pace.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were the only team not to pit onto the slick tyres at the red flag restart, meaning that he was bizarrely the only car on track during the standing start procedure and had to box later for the change of tyres as the track dried up.
With Hamilton and Verstappen now both far down the pack after these incidents and Bottas and Sergio Perez retiring from the race, Ocon only had to hold off the charging Hamilton to pick up his first race win, which he managed to do with the help of some stellar defending from Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard played a key part in Ocon’s win, but has now fired a shot at the Frenchman over his victory, hinting that it was an obscene amount of luck that allowed Ocon to win, rather than the Frenchman’s skill.
“We don’t have the win because what happened in Hungary last year will never happen again in a hundred years, so that is a casualty,” he said.
“And then, the podium, maybe in Canada and Australia we had a chance but we lost by our own fault.”
Alonso picked up a podium during his time with Alpine in Qatar last year, but much was made of Ocon’s inability to return to favour of holding off other cars.
Alonso told Ocon to ‘defend like a lion’ as Sergio Perez charged through the pack, but the Mexican passed the Alpine driver with ease and came very close to overtaking Alonso for the final podium position.
The Alpine driver pairing in 2022 became a toxic one towards the end of the season, with Alonso believing that the team had been favouring Ocon over the course of the season, resulting in the Frenchman having much better luck with regards to race retirements.
The pair collided in Brazil, which led Alonso to reveal that he was counting down the days until he could complete his move to Aston Martin.
Despite the sour end to his time with the team, Alonso has claimed that he will always look fondly towards Alpine, as this is where he won his two world championships, as the team was previously known as Renault.