According to eight in ten avid followers of Formula 1, Fernando Alonso might be considered what one calls a fierce competitor of the sport. The likes who don’t hold back and are unafraid of a challenge.
In his ebb rest not just two great world titles and 98 podiums, but also many a great battle with the likes of Schumacher, Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen.
And importantly in none of these battles did Fernando Alonso ever lift off or not be what his true nature on the grid is: Relentless!
Yet, to someone who’s established himself an F1 cult given his pure talent and that tirelessness with which he competes, it’s interesting to note that the Spaniard finds in his path a relentless driver. And things become interesting when, as per Fernando Alonso, that driver happens to be his very own teammate: Esteban Ocon.
So what really happened, if one might ask, between the two for none other than Alonso to point specifically to Esteban Ocon, the driver behind the famous 2021 Hungarian win? And what was it about the 2022 race at the Hungaroring that the veteran F1 driver said what he just did?
“Obviously I lifted off and nothing happened. It was probably an opportunity missed there. At the start, I had a good launch, but nothing really to comment,” exclaimed the man from Asturias, Spain.
“I don’t think so,” he’d further add. “We try to race hard always, but always giving that one percent margin to not have any incidents. We never had any, and we will never have.”
Having said, one can’t really say that Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer essentially thinks what Fernando Alonso felt about the battle with his teammate at the recently-concluded Hungarian Grand Prix of 2021. Here’s what he said:
“Just as long as it’s fair, and no damage done, that’s OK!”
Though having said it all, what might have Esteban Ocon, a driver who is clearly ahead of Fernando Alonso on the Driver’s Standings, had to say on the episode?
The following is what the young French driver had to say, “
We put ourselves in a difficult position at the pit stop, when we got delayed, we pitted a bit late, so the lap times on the fresh tyre were better,” Ocon said.
“We should have come out with some margin, some gaps. I tried to defend not necessarily on Fernando, on everybody that I had behind, but on cold hards it was difficult to do so.”
With 58 points, Esteban Ocon is currently eighth on the 2022 Driver Standings and is currently enjoying a seventeen-point lead over the experienced El Nino of Formula 1, Alonso down in tenth.
But all of that said, here’s what seems to be the most surprising outcome of Hungary in 2022 in comparison to 2021, particularly from the standpoint of the Alpine drivers’ battle at the Hungaroring.
Last year, it was Fernando Alonso who was helping his teammate Ocon stick to the front of the grid as the Frenchman was vying for a victory. He’d eventually claim a maiden F1 win. In doing so, Alonso supported him as he defied a strong collection of drivers in the midfield, most noticeably, Sir Lewis Hamilton (in his Mercedes).
This year around, however, the two were racier as one saw and seen having a go at each other only for Alonso to lift off as per his admission. But then, this is F1, of which one says, “Expect the unexpected!”