Alpine’s Ocon claims maiden Formula One victory in chaotic Hungary GP

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Race winner Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 Team celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 01, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Florion Goga-Pool/Getty Images )
Race winner Esteban Ocon of France and Alpine F1 Team celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 01, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Florion Goga-Pool/Getty Images)

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon claimed his first ever Formula One victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Ocon led the race for almost all the 70 laps at the Hungaroring, holding off Vettel who sustained his chase throughout the race.

The race began in wild fashion as a Valtteri Bottas-caused crash forced Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lando Norris to retire early.

The Mercedes’ driver got his braking wrong into Turn 1 and ran into the back of Norris, who in turn slid across the road and collided with Perez’s colleague, Max Verstappen’s, who then dropped to 13 place.

The aftermath prompted race officials to Red Flag the race as the track was cleared of the cars and debris.

As the lights went out again, Hamilton, who was still in the lead, found himself alone on the track as all other cars pitted for a change of tires. The decision meant the Briton lost his lead and had to plough his way through the field to earn his podium place.

Hungary’s result means Hamilton leapfrogged Verstappen at the top of the Driver’s standings, with the Briton’s 192 placing him 6 points ahead of the Red Bull driver.

Mercedes also overtook Red Bull on the Constructor Standings, with the Honda-powered team’s 290 points 10 shy off the new leaders.

“”It was a tough race and I had nothing left at the end. Considering how things went overall, we have to be happy with P3,” Hamilton said after the race.

On his part, Ocon could not hide his joy.

“What a moment! It feels so good!” he said

“It’s fantastic, what can I say? Congrats to Fernando as well, I think the win is also thanks to him with the fight that he did. It’s teamwork, it’s been a fantastic day!”

Outside the podium places, Ferrari’s Carlo Sainz took fourth ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and the Alpha Tauri duo of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda respectively.

Nicholas Latifi took eighth ahead of his teammate George Russel for William’s first double points result of the season.

Verstappen settled for tenth place, having driven the entire race in a damaged car.

The cars will line up next at the Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian GP in four weeks.

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