After the victory won by Esteban Ocon in the Hungarian Grand Prix, which had given the team its first success Alpine in Formula 1, the French manufacturer achieved the second podium in its history in Qatar, this time with the third place of Fernando Alonso. The 40-year-old Spaniard, in his first place in the top three since his return to the top flight, also set a new record for the highest number of GPs spent between podiums, putting an end to a fast that lasted 146 races. The last uncork of the champagne was in fact dated, curiously, to the Hungarian GP in 2014, when he finished in second place at the wheel of the Ferrari.
A historic performance materialized not without a certain tension in the final laps, characterized by the gradual recovery of Sergio Perez on the Alpine of the two-time world champion, and by the repeated episodes of punctures that hit the two Williams in particular. With the entrance of the Virtual Safety Car, the Asturian was thus able to manage his advantage from the Mexican Red Bull, taking home the third final place and the recognition of Driver of the Day.
A race that will hardly be forgotten not only by Alonso, but also by the Alpine team principal Marcin Budkowski. The Polish engineer, interviewed at the end of the race, commented on the result of the Spaniard, venting all his joy: “We knew we would be pretty close to the limit with tire wear – he analyzed – we had to be quick to overtake the other cars and a single stop was the most congenial option. However, in the final laps general concern emerged when we saw that some cars had punctured ”. In addition, thanks to Ocon’s fifth place and the simultaneous exit from the points area of both AlphaTauri, Alpine ousted their rivals from Faenza from fifth place ex-aequo in the constructors’ standings, with the French now enjoying an advantage. of 25 points. However, Budkowski does not intend to let his guard down: “The AlphaTauri always stays there – he concluded – and this is why we will have to prepare ourselves to have a good race in Jeddah too ”.
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