As the first year of the Renault F1 Team being rebranded is halfway to the end, and the Formula 1 circus is just about to return from summer break, the French team is heading the second part of its first season under the blue colors of Alpine with their first win achieved already.
Marcin Budkowski spoke on the preview of the race in Belgium this week about the events in Hungary and how the result is still fueling every person working on the team despite the weeks passed.
“It wasn't a win based on full, outright performance as some external circumstances contributed, but the opportunity came to us and we were there to grab it – in style - as we led 67 of the 70 laps of the race.”
“Even though a few weeks have passed since the Hungarian Grand Prix, there is still a good buzz within the team as we are heading to Belgium. It was also fantastic to see Esteban bounce back after a few difficult races and score his first Grand Prix win,” expressed the Alpine’s Executive Director.
“It's a very important milestone for the Team and a huge morale boost for everybody in Enstone and Viry. Now we know how good victory tastes, we will work even harder to achieve our goals and become a regular contender in the future.”
Esteban Ocon reached a maiden race victory in the Hungaroring after struggling for the past few races on his A521. The Frenchman assures he never thought his first win would have come exactly that day in the heat of Hungary.
“I was not expecting to be entering this race after the summer break as the latest Formula 1 race winner!”
“It's still an incredibly special feeling and it was very well timed as I've spent the last couple of weeks relaxing with family and friends letting it sink in... I can tell you, it definitely feels real now!” said the Frenchman.
“Now the time is to focus on restarting the season and that begins in Belgium. We enjoyed the moment in Hungary and, of course, repeating that feeling would be fantastic, but we will remain realistic and do our best for a strong result. The weather might be interesting so, if it's dry or wet, we will be ready to take any opportunity.”
Fernando Alonso, the second most experienced driver on the grid and the man of the wonderful performance that gifted him the Driver of the Day Award as well as have played a big part in the success in Ocon’s victory, talked about what it means for him to race in a circuit as it is Spa-Francorchamps.
“It's a great circuit and a pleasure to race on in a Formula 1 car. Taking Eau Rouge flat in these modern cars will be amazing. It's quite a traditional circuit in a way and always provides a good race for the fans.”
“The weather can sometimes be unpredictable, so we have to capitalise on any opportunity like how we did in Budapest. We have a busy triple header coming up with two traditional tracks in Spa and Monza, with a new one for Formula 1 in Zandvoort. Our aim is to score as many points as possible and build on the momentum and team spirit that we have shown from Hungary,” the Spaniard concluded.