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 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…

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
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021