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Alonso brands Ocon debut victory a 100-year fluke

Alonso brands Ocon debut victory a 100-year fluke

Alonso brands Ocon debut victory a 100-year fluke

Alonso brands Ocon debut victory a 100-year fluke
Sam Hall & Ian Parkes

Fernando Alonso has delivered a surprise assessment of former team-mate Esteban Ocon's unexpected maiden victory in 2021.

Last year's Hungarian Grand Prix was a chaotic affair, with Valtteri Bottas initiating the mayhem when he locked his front tyres on a damp track, colliding with both Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and causing a red flag.

When the race restarted, the track had dried considerably. Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton was remarkably the only driver to line up on the grid as the remainder of the field pitted for slick rubber.

This left Ocon as the de facto leader, a position he maintained to the chequered flag.

Despite this year's Alpine appearing a more competitive car than its predecessor, neither Ocon nor Alonso stood on the podium across the 22 races.

Asked why the results had failed to match 2021 given this perceived improvement, Alonso said: “We don’t have the win because what happened in Hungary last year will never happen again in a hundred years, so that is a casualty.

“And then, the podium, maybe in Canada and Australia we had a chance but we lost by our own fault."

Alpine at least salvaged a degree of respectability from the season by finishing fourth in the constructors' championship following a season-long duel with McLaren.

Alonso, who moves on to Aston Martin over the winter, assessed that Alpine was "similar to last year in a way".

He added: “But when you are not fighting for the championship, to be fourth or fifth doesn’t change much.”

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