The French Esteban Ocon (Alpine) won the first Grand Prix of his career, at 24, this Sunday in Hungary, after an incredible race and many retirements following a start in the rain. Ocon, 8th on the starting grid, came out 2nd from the chaos of the first turn after several clashes, behind the “poleman” Lewis Hamilton. During almost the entire race, he resisted the assaults of the experienced Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), disqualified a posteriori and who lost his 2nd place, to win a prestigious victory and become the 14th French winner in F1.
Hamilton, after being last, managed an incredible comeback to finish 3rd and regain the lead of the championship from Max Verstappen (Red Bull), affected in the accident in the first lap and finally 10th. The Briton is now six points ahead of the Dutchman. The Normand also offers his French team Alpine, the new name of Renault in F1, a first victory since 2008 and the success of Fernando Alonso in Japan.
In Gasly’s wake in 2020
This Hungarian GP will go down in the history of crazy Formula 1 races. And like Olivier Panis in 1996 in Monaco, as Pierre Gasly in 2020 at Monza in Italy, it is a Frenchman who knew how to take advantage of the circumstances. The native of Evreux in Normandy will have waited for his 78th Grand Prix to enter the closed circle of F1 winners, now made up of 111 drivers.
You had to see his long silhouette, still helmeted, run through the pit lane, do a “dab” in front of the audience, jump like crazy, enjoy a walkabout with his whole team and then be carried by his teammate Alonso … It was a celebration worthy of the moment, perhaps unique in a pilot’s career. “What a moment, it feels so good. We had some difficult times this season but we continued to work. I don’t know what to say, it’s just fantastic. It’s a team effort ”, he reacted before getting on the podium.
A race in the rain
At the time of the second Marseillaise in F1 in this 21st century for a driver, Ocon had at his side eleven world championship titles: four for Vettel (2nd, but finally disqualified for insufficient quantity of fuel in the tank after the event. ) and seven for Hamilton (3rd), both of whom congratulated Ocon.
By 3:00 p.m. the race had started in the rain and from the first corner Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) had to retire. Verstappen, hit in the pile-up, could not do better than 10th with a damaged car.
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