BWT Alpine F1 Team moved into fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship after claiming double points from its home race, the French Grand Prix, at Circuit Paul Ricard with record setting Fernando Alonso a superb sixth and Esteban Ocon in eighth.
Ocon’s four points brings his first score in Formula 1 at his home race at the third attempt, progressing from tenth to eighth place at the chequered flag.
Alonso enjoyed a strong Sunday, his seventh points finish in a row, with his overtake on McLaren’s Lando Norris on lap one proving decisive in closing out sixth place at the end.
Today, July 23, the Spaniard set the Formula 1 record for most ever laps completed as he moved onto 18,672 career laps in Grand Prix racing.
Ocon received a five second time penalty after a collision with Yuki Tsunoda on lap one, but, after serving that during his sole pit-stop, the Frenchman showed patience to recover the deficit and ensure he came home with points courtesy of a second well-crafted overtake around the outside of Turn 10 on McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Esteban Ocon said: “The goal today was to score points with both cars, and we’ve done just that. I’m happy with my race today and it was brilliant to drive in front of the home fans who have been incredible all weekend, so thanks to them for all their support.
“It was a tough one out there in the heat, and I enjoyed the on-track racing with some tight battles. We’re now fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, so we leave here feeling very positive and motivated to keep that position.
“I do hope we race in France next year as there is nothing quite like a home Grand Prix. Merci to all the fans and allez Alpine.”
Both drivers were strong off the line from seventh and tenth on the grid with Alonso holding sixth and Ocon eighth.
A Safety Car on lap 18 after Charles Leclerc’s crash allowed most of the field to pit with Alonso pitted first for Hards with Ocon soon after, taking his penalty during the pit-stop, to come out behind McLaren’s Ricciardo who he had earlier passed on lap seven with a move into the Turn 8 chicane.
From there, Alonso cruised to sixth place at the flag, keeping Norris well at bay, while Ocon had to be patient, and then clinical, to snatch eighth from Ricciardo seven laps from the end with a neat move on the outside of Turn 10.
Fernando Alonso said: “I am pleased with our race today. It was well-executed from our side and we managed the pace and tyres well. We had to work through a lot of things in terms of the car balance this weekend, but we ended up finishing just behind the top five positions, so a very solid race in the end and more points on the board for us.
“I had a good start climbing up to fifth, but then we dropped to sixth and perhaps resumed our normal position in the race. It shows that when we have a clean weekend like this one, then we can finish in the top six positions.
“Hopefully we can keep-up this level of consistency throughout the second half of the season and continue our momentum.”
The team moves onto 93 points in the Constructors’ Championship heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final race before the summer shutdown on July 29-31.