The rain disrupted the start and many favorites were taken out from the first corner. To the delight of the French. Vettel and Hamilton accompany him on the podium.
The French Esteban Ocon (Alpine) won the first Grand Prix of his career, at 24, on Sunday in Hungary, after an incredible race and many retirements following a start in the rain.
Ocon, 8th on the starting grid, came out 2nd from the chaos of the first turn after several clashes, behind the “pole-sitter” Lewis Hamilton. He withstood the assaults of the experienced Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) for almost the entire race to secure a prestigious victory and become the 14th French winner in F1.
Hamilton, after being last, managed an incredible comeback to finish 3rd and regain the championship lead from Max Verstappen (Red Bull), affected in the accident in the first lap and finally 10th. The Briton is now six points ahead of the Dutchman.
The Normand also offers his French team Alpine, the new name of Renault in F1, a first victory since 2008 and the success of Fernando Alonso in Japan.
“I don’t know what to say, it’s just fantastic”
This Hungarian GP will go down in the history of the mad races of Formula 1. And like Olivier Panis in 1996 in Monaco, like Pierre Gasly in 2020 in Monza in Italy, it is a Frenchman who knew how to take advantage of the circumstances.
The native of Évreux in Normandy will have waited for his 78th Grand Prix to enter the closed circle of F1 winners, now made up of 111 drivers.
You had to see his long silhouette, still helmeted, run through the pit lane, do a “dab” in front of the audience, jump like crazy, enjoy a walkabout with his whole team and then be carried by his teammate Alonso … It was a celebration worthy of the moment, perhaps unique in a pilot’s career.
“What a moment, it feels so good. We had some difficult times this season but we continued to work. I don’t know what to say, it’s just fantastic. It’s a team effort ”, he reacted before getting on the podium.
At the time of the second Marseillaise in F1 in the 21st century for a driver, Ocon had eleven world championship titles at his side: four for Vettel (2nd) and seven for Hamilton (3rd), both of whom congratulated Ocon.
By 3:00 p.m. the race had started in the rain and from the first corner Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) had to retire. Verstappen, hit in the pile-up, could not do better than 10th with a damaged car.