Fernando Alonso has explained his team’s angry radio message about teammate Esteban Ocon’s defensive driving at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Alpine The duo are usually one of the friendliest partnerships on the grid, and it had been cuddling throughout the year 12 earlier at the Hungaroring when Ocon emerged triumphant – aided by a superb defense from Alonso against Lewis Hamilton.
But the boot was well on the other foot this time after kicking in from fifth and sixth, with Ocon just ahead of his future former colleague.
Heading towards Turn 1, Alonso went to move inside Ocon but found his way blocked by the Frenchman who snuck towards the pit wall and then returned to the center of the track to cover again his teammate. The duel also continued in the following corners.
“Never in my life have I seen a defense like Esteban’s today,” Alonso told team radio. “Never.”
In the end, Alonso edged out Ocon even though both were hampered by a sub-optimal one-stop alpine strategy that featured a long stint on the hard tires and they came in eighth and ninth, one lap behind winner Max Verstappen .
The Spaniard then toned down his criticism but insisted Ocon had been ‘aggressive’.
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“The truth is that I had to lift in both turns 1 and 2 and then turn 5 in particular because I was on the outside of him and he was quite aggressive on that first lap,” said declared the former double world champion to journalists.
“But I lifted and so we didn’t touch, and in the end he let me through and we finished eighth and ninth.
“It wouldn’t have changed much for the team. The important thing is to be close to McLaren and today we scored the same points as them in a difficult race, so in the end I think the result is positive.”
The plus for Alpine was that although Alonso and Ocon finished behind Lando Norris who was seventh, Daniel Ricciardo in the other McLaren finished in 15th.
“Every point counts this year,” the 41-year-old added, speaking to DAZN. “Again, a race where we started in a good position cost us points and I was eighth after a lot of fighting.
“We knew it would be difficult to go to a stop and the limit, and that’s what happened.”
Around 16 hours after Alonso spoke to the media, Aston Martin officially announced he would be leaving Alpine to join them at the end of this season.