Esteban Ocon 9th, Pierre Gasly 12th.


A rather painful Hungarian Grand Prix for Esteban Ocon, back on the circuit where he triumphed last year. He could not maintain his brilliant fifth position acquired in qualifying against the high pace of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Perez. Alpine’s tire strategy (two-thirds of the race on hard rubber) also forced the Normand to drive in resistance mode against opponents on faster but less enduring tires. He finished 9th in the wake of his teammate Fernando Alonso. Pierre Gasly, starting from the pits, logically sailed in the second half of the pack in this race where 19 of the 20 cars reached the finish. The Norman obtained a meritorious 12th place. Summary of their race below:

Classification of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
Classification of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix

Alpine overdue with hard tires

From the start, Esteban Ocon veers to the right to defend his position on Alonso, his teammate renowned for his qualities as a starter. The maneuver is effective against the other Alpine…. but benefits Hamilton who takes advantage of a boulevard to overflow the blue single-seaters. Ocon is sixth after the first lap.

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The Ébroïcien quickly saw the Red Bulls return to their mirrors, poorly qualified the day before, faster and moreover shod with soft rubbers (against mediums for the Alpine). Verstappen passed on the 7th lap, then Perez two loops later. The Norman fell to eighth place after 10 laps.

The Alpine team opts for a shifted strategy shortly after the twentieth lap. It brings in its two drivers to equip them with hard rubber, in the hope of saving a pit stop compared to the other cars in the top 10. On the other side of the coin: the opponents benefit from much more competitive tires and Ricciardo (McLaren ) swallow the Alpine in the same bend.

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Then the Aston Martins of Stroll and Vettel do the same a few laps later. Finally Alonso will eventually take over Esteban Ocon. The Alpines finished in 8th and 9th place, after a defensive and painful race for the two drivers, threatened in the final by the rise of the Aston Martins on fresh rubber. The Norman obtains his tenth ranking in points in thirteen Grands Prix contested during this first part of the season. His consistency allows him to occupy eighth place in the world championship.

Eight places won by Pierre Gasly

Qualified in the last row, Pierre Gasly chose to change many engine components. This allows him to renew his coins with a minimum penalty. The Norman therefore starts from the line of the pits.

Back up to 17th position with soft tyres, the Norman quickly moved on to mediums. Then he finds a regular rhythm to pass the Williams and the Haas, as well as his teammate Tsunoda. Gasly will even offer himself the scalp of a McLaren (Ricciardo) at the end of the race thanks to his good tire strategy on soft rubber for the final. He finished twelfth with the satisfaction of having been able to lead an offensive race. Hoping to find a single-seater capable of coming to fight in the first part of the peloton after the summer break.

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Victory for Verstappen, Ferrari still at fault

Author of an unexpected pole position, Russell (Mercedes) initially managed an excellent start to keep the two Ferraris in his mirrors. But Leclerc was able to overtake him shortly before halfway, followed by Verstappen a few loops later. Then the 2021 world champion easily got the better of the Monegasque Ferrari, lacking rhythm with hard tires. Leclerc had to come back to the pits to put on soft tyres, which made him dive into sixth place. He suffered on the Hungaroring a (new) bad tire strategy from the Scuderia: hard rubber was to be avoided this Sunday in Hungary.

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This Grand Prix was offered on a silver platter to Verstappen, who increases his lead in the championship. 80 points ahead (the equivalent of three races!) now for the Dutchman.



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