Prost: Ocon win provides 'much necessary' boost to Alpine morale

Alpine director Alian Prost says Esteban Ocon's triumph in the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided the French outfit... The post Prost: Ocon win provides 'much necessary' boost to Alpine morale appeared first on F1i.com.

Prost: Ocon win provides 'much necessary' boost to Alpine morale

Alpine director Alian Prost says Esteban Ocon's triumph in the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided the French outfit with a much-needed boost to its morale.

Prost witnessed Ocon and Alpine's day of glory from afar as the Enstone squad's non-executive director was not on site in Budapest, having remained in France.

But Prost's absence took nothing away from the overwhelming joy felt by the four-time F1 world champion following the team's milestone achievement.

"It's an important win for Esteban, for the team and for the Alpine brand as this is a very ambitious marketing project," commented Prost, speaking to French broadcaster Canal Plus.

"I'm really happy for Esteban, because he endured some difficult moments recently, some very complicated weeks.

"Luck obviously played a part, but you need to take advantage of it and the entire team, starting with Esteban, did just that.

"It's a timely win, just before the summer break, that will boost the morale of the whole team which really needs it".

Prost insisted that becoming a bona fide Grand Prix winner will prove transformational for Ocon.

"When you become a winner in F1, you enter a different dimension," explained the 66-year-old F1 legend.

"He started eighth and was able to win the race. He'll be thinking about that at the start of every Grand Prix, and it will give him a different status in the team.

  • Read also: Alpine team 'humbled' to stand among F1's giants - Rossi

Prost also reckoned that last weekend's win will silence those who criticized Alpine's recent decision to extend Ocon's contract with the French outfit until the end of 2024.

"There was a lot of unfortunate criticism after the signing of the three-year deal, so this will settle things down," added Prost.

"Along with Fernando Alonso, we'll have a dynamic duo that will only become more and more complimentary over time, and that's very positive."

Prost noted that Ocon's performance in last Sunday's race immediately "galvanized' the entire Alpine team.

"When you look at the pit stops [2.3s for both cars], we've never done that as it's never been our strong point," he said.

"This means that when we're performing, the entire team is galvanized, and we all do a better job. It was a magical day."

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Ricciardo reckons he 'could have been up there' in Hungary

Daniel Ricciardo believes he could have delivered a big result in Hungary had he been spared a hit... The post Ricciardo reckons he 'could have been up there' in Hungary appeared first on F1i.com.

Ricciardo reckons he 'could have been up there' in Hungary

Daniel Ricciardo believes he could have delivered a big result in Hungary had he been spared a hit in the race's opening lap mayhem.

Ricciardo was collateral damage at the first corner in last Sunday's race as a result of Lance Stroll's clumsy run-in with Charles Leclerc that led to the Ferrari driver hitting and spinning around the Aussie's McLaren.

But for a brief moment, Ricciardo thought that he had avoided the worst.

"For a moment I thought I got through the chaos in Turn 1," Ricciardo said. "The start itself was good, I think I got two or three off the line.

"Then I saw Valtteri [Bottas] go into Lando who went into Max [Verstappen] at the start. I was able to get through that in second and I honestly felt like I got through it.

"Just as I went to exit the corner on power I saw Charles come into me and he spun me around. The way he came into me I thought someone had gone into him, because we were kind of through the corner and it seemed weird.

"He damaged his car, damaged mine, I spun, and that was that.

"I saw the replay and Stroll went into him and then he went into me, the team tried to tape up as much as they could, but it was very compromised on the right-hand side.

"We don’t have the fastest car so with some compromises it obviously hurts. With a tricky track to pass it was hard to do anything."

  • Read also: Norris expected 'a little bit more' from 'top guy' Bottas

With Norris' McLaren out of the race following the first corner pile-up, Ricciardo was the team's sole representative. Mid-way through the race, the Aussie had settled into the points in P10 but couldn't fend off a late charger from Verstappen.

"There were parts where I could hang on to the cars ahead, but with the car damage we had, and the difficulty overtaking here, it really just limited our race," he said.

"In the end, the tyres were gone, and it was just about trying to hang on for dear life, but I couldn’t hang on to the points.

"It looked very promising, but now, when you look at the race and the chaotic results, you realise you could’ve been up there, but unfortunately not.

"We were one of the many that just got unlucky through no fault of our own."

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