The Alpine F1 Team claimed a double points in the British Grand Prix after Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon battled to seventh and ninth place respectively in a thrilling race at a packed-out Silverstone. The result means Alonso stretches his points-scoring streak to five races with Esteban returning to the points for the first time since Monaco.
Despite finishing in their starting positions, it was far from plain sailing to the chequered flag.
Off the line, Ocon enjoyed the stronger start and was unfortunate to be caught in a tight gap between Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. Both drivers were able to escape without major damage with Alonso holding seventh and Ocon tenth at the end of lap one.
The race was red-flagged after an incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Copse Corner, with barrier repairs bringing a 30-minute delay to the race.
At the second standing start, Alonso gained a position to sixth with Ocon maintaining tenth. Ocon then progressed to ninth on lap five after passing Kimi Raikkonen with Alonso dropping a place to Carlos Sainz.
Ocon pitted for new Hards on lap 19, with a slow-stop for Alonso for Hards on lap 24 momentarily costing him a place to Lance Stroll, which he soon recovered with a dive into Brooklands.
Ocon dipped outside the points after Pierre Gasly’s overtake on lap 29, but with Sergio Perez pitting on lap 38 and Gasly on lap 48 for a puncture, Ocon was able to progress his way to ninth, which he held at the chequered flag. Alonso comfortably held Stroll at bay for seventh place.
Thanks to the double points finish Alpine F1 Team regains some ground in the 2021 F1 Constructors’ Championship compared to its rivals and now heads to the Hungarian Grand Prix hoping to make further in-roads.
“It was a good result today and I am happy to score more points for the team. It was a very long, hot race so it was very challenging. I thought we managed the temperatures and the tyres in a good way, and we also kept enough of a gap to Lance (Stroll) behind. We made some good calls on strategy and executed everything well. It was a little bit of a different weekend and we’ll have to see if the fans enjoyed it. We now have two weeks until we go again,” said Alonso.
“It was not an easy race today with everything going on; the red flag, two standing starts, but we’re back in the points and that feels good. It was nice to be fighting and getting the maximum from the car. Tyre management was challenging today but we did everything well. Of course, you always want more, but as a team, we have both cars in the points today and that’s a great reward for everyone’s hard work. We’re back on the pace after three difficult races and we aim to keep this going now through to Hungary. We’ll be preparing and working hard for that, to make sure we back this result up. I’m glad Max is OK after the incident, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” added Ocon.