BWT Alpine F1 Team finished the Austrian Grand Prix with both drivers in the points as Esteban Ocon celebrated his 100th Formula 1 race start in style with a fifth-place finish with Fernando Alonso climbing from the back row of the grid to the points with an excellent comeback drive.
A comfortable fifth place for Ocon came about after executing a two-stop strategy brings his best race result of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after progressing from his sixth-place grid slot.
Ocon said: “What a day, what a weekend. I think we really maximised the pace of the car today when it really mattered. It was a great way to cap off my 100th Grand Prix in Formula 1.
“There were some good fights on the track today, but in the end George [Russell] was too quick and fifth position was the best we could have achieved. We go home with some very good points after this weekend, moving up to eighth in the Drivers’ Championship and now level with McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship.
“As a team we are moving in the right direction and we have momentum on our side going into Paul Ricard, one of the team’s home races, and of course mine as well. It should be an incredible weekend and I can’t wait to be back in front of the home fans in two weeks’ time.”
After replacing a number of parts on the car after yesterday’s starting grid issues, Alonso propelled from the back row of the grid to tenth at the chequered flag.
It’s the second time this season Alonso has progressed from the final row to the points after doing so in his home Grand Prix in Spain earlier in the year.
Alonso said: “One point is better than nothing considering we started on the back row today. I think it was one of my best races this season, other than probably at Silverstone last weekend.
“I think we were fighting for sixth or seventh positions, but then there were some strange vibrations on the tyres we fitted after our second stop under the Virtual Safety Car. As it was still under the VSC, we decided to stop again for another new set of tyres.
“Unfortunately, we lost some positions with this extra pit-stop and had to fight back on the last few laps. In the end we managed to take tenth position. Ultimately, only one point from this race feels a little bit of a shame for me, but we can be very happy with our overall pace and performance as a team this weekend.”
Ocon’s race was largely uneventful as he benefitted from the retirements of Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz to go from sixth to fifth.
Having started on Mediums and Ocon pitted on laps 16 and 44 for Hards to take him to the flag.
After starting on Hards, Alonso pitted on lap 27 for Hards, lap 57 for Mediums under the Virtual Safety Car and again as a precaution a lap later after feeling vibrations in the car.
The team remains fifth in the Constructors’ Championship on 81 points, level with McLaren.
The next race in two weeks’ time, July 22-24, sees the team gear up for its home race.
The French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard.