The French rider Esteban Ocon (Alpine) won the first Grand Prix of his career, at the age of 24, this Sunday in Hungary after a mad race and numerous retirements after a rough outing.
Ocon, who came second from the chaos of corner one after multiple crashes, withstood the attacks of veteran Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) to become the 14th driver from his country to win in F1.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), last for a few laps, achieved an incredible comeback to finish 3rd and regain the World Championship lead to the detriment of Max Verstappen (Red Bull), involved in the accident on the first lap and finally 10th. The Brit now has a six-point lead.
Ocon also gave his Alpine team, Renault’s new name in F1, its first triumph since 2008 when Fernando Alonso prevailed in Japan.
This Hungarian Grand Prix will enter the history of crazy racing in Formula 1. And like Olivier Panis in 1996 in Monaco, or Pierre Gasly in 2020 at Monza in Italy, it was a Frenchman who knew how to take advantage of the circumstances.
It took Ocon 78 Grands Prix to enter the private club of Grand Prix winners, now comprised of 111 drivers.
Once the victory was certified, the Frenchman ran through the pit area, jumped for joy and melted into a hug with Alonso. A celebration at the height of the moment, perhaps unique in a pilot’s career.
What a moment, this feels great. We have had difficult moments this season but we have continued working. I don’t know what to say, it’s just fantastic. It is a team effort ”, declared the winner before taking the podium.
Ocon shared the podium with eleven world championships: Vettel’s four and Hamilton’s seven, which congratulated the Frenchman.
The race started at 1300 GMT in the rain and at the first corner Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) had to leave.
Verstappen, struck amid the chaos, finished 10th with a damaged car. (AFP)