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
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021