Fernando Alonso Returns To Scene Of First F1 Win

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. British Grand Prix, Saturday 17th July 2021. Silverstone, England. (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)

As his comeback tour gains momentum, Fernando Alonso returns to the scene of his first-ever win in F1 – the Hungaroring.

Alonso won the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix for Renault, after starting from pole position, beating home Kimi Raikkonen, who will also be on the grid this weekend as the two elder statesmen of the paddock do battle in the midfield.

Happy Hunting Ground For Fernando Alonso

Although it’s unlikely Fernando Alonso will recapture the feeling he experienced here in 2003, the two-time champion is looking forward to a return to the place where he captured his first F1 win some 18 years ago.

“I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, it’s a circuit where there isn’t much time to breathe with lots of tight corners. It feels like a big go-kart circuit. We all love driving there because I think the driver has a quite a bit more input than some circuits. I’ve had some good results in Hungary, most notably in 2003 when I took my first ever Formula 1 win. I’ve also scored a few podiums too and the pole position in 2009 was good. I feel like the team is improving all the time, especially after the performance at Silverstone where both cars finished in the points, so we’re hopeful of another good weekend,” said Alonso.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521.  British Grand Prix, Saturday 17th July 2021. Silverstone, England. (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521. British Grand Prix, Saturday 17th July 2021. Silverstone, England. (image courtesy Alpine F1 Team)

Esteban Ocon Ready For Favourite Circuit

Esteban Ocon rates the Hungaroring as one of his favourite circuits, and is ready for the tight turns and tighter battle for points.

“The Hungaroring is one of my favourite tracks on the Formula 1 calendar. It’s a great place to drive a Formula 1 car as it has a nice flow and rhythm to it: it’s all about maximising corners and piecing everything together. I’m feeling happy going to Hungary after a promising weekend in Silverstone where the car felt much better than it had in previous rounds. The team and I have continued to work hard in our preparation on the simulator to be ready for Hungary. It’s the final round before the summer break, and the aim is to score more points to end the first part of the season on a positive trend,” added Ocon.

No More Upgrades For Alpine

Alpine’s Marcin Budkowski has confirmed that after a flurry of activity at both factories, the teams major upgrades for 2021 are complete, and attention is now turning to the 2022 car.

“I always enjoy the trip to Budapest. It’s a beautiful city and one of my favourite destinations of the season, and I think most of the team will agree with me! The Hungaroring is a tight and twisty track and notoriously difficult to overtake on. That means qualifying will be important and we will need to realise the potential of the car on Saturday to put ourselves in a place where we can fight for the higher points-scoring positions in the race. It’s the stage of the year when Grand Prix fatigue is kicking in after quite a few races already. It’s been a big push from the start of the season with both Enstone and Viry working hard to develop the car. The focus has now switched entirely to 2022 at both factories, meaning there are fewer new parts coming to the track, but the second half of the calendar is a gruelling schedule and everyone in the team looks forward to the two-week break to recharge. But, before we can relax, we are aiming for another strong showing and a double points finish in Hungary,” concluded Budkowski.

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