Esteban Ocon: “I already feel all the memories of last year coming back”
Esteban Ocon returns to her maiden’s place FIA Formula 1 World Championship victory for the first time this weekend, but the Frenchman knows it is important to focus on this year rather than the last.
The BWT Alpine F1 Team the runner was the surprise winner of the Hungary twelve months ago after enjoying a chaotic start to the race and Lewis HamiltonPit failure for dry weather tires before restart.
Ocon hopes to have a strong race this weekend to help Alpine further differentiate itself from the McLaren F1 Team as the two teams battle it out for fourth place in the constructors’ championship around a circuit which is one of its favorites even without counting its victory last year.
“I feel good, and it will certainly be emotional to be back in Budapest,” said Ocon. “I can already feel all the memories of last year coming back. But that was last year, and we need to be fully focused as a team to deliver another solid weekend.
“It will be important to go into the stoppage feeling like we’ve really cemented that fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship. We know it will be tough, but we have the team and the tools to get it done.
“We’re going to give it one last push before a well deserved break for the team who have worked incredibly hard all year. I really like the track and it’s one of my favourites, and not just because what I won!
“I like the second sector and how quick and smooth it is. It seems like you don’t get a break between turn 4 and turn 11, and if your setup is good that sequence of corners can be really nice and you feel like you’re getting the most out of the car, it’s a really fun track to drive.
“The top seven places are a very realistic goal for us” – Fernando Alonso
Like Ocon, teammate Fernando Alonso also took his first Formula 1 victory at the Hungaroring in 2003, and he has many fond memories of racing on the circuit.
The Spaniard has been on good form in 2022, with a sixth-place finish last weekend in France, meaning he has scored points in the last seven races to take tenth place in the championship standings.
He will be hoping for another strong performance from the team this weekend as he tries to close the points gap on those ahead of him in the standings, with Alonso saying the result in France proves a top seven is possible s have a clean day.
“It was a good Sunday for us after a difficult weekend” said Alonso. “We struggled to find the right set-up during Practice and weren’t really happy with the balance until just before Qualifying.
“However, we have shown that when we can have a clean weekend, aiming for the top seven is a very realistic target for us because we were quite comfortable in the race.
“Obviously it was in Budapest that I got my very first victory in Formula 1. We had a good car that year and we were building something very strong for the next few years. But we didn’t expect that. a victory that year. I think we found the circuit really suited to our package.
“Of course there was last year too, which was Alpine’s first ever win. The race also tends to fall around my birthday, so it’s a good weekend for me with a lot of memories and hard to pick one.It’s a fun track and a real challenge as a rider, with its tight and twisty nature.