Alpine F1 Director Alain Prost Makes an Honest Admission About Fernando Alonso

Published 08/07/2021, 10:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso before the race Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna


Fernando Alonso, after two years away from the sport, made his comeback with Alpine this season. And after an arduous start to life on his return to F1, he has finally found his feet in the new car. The two-time world champion has now consecutively scored in six races and found his grove back, which is quite evident from his Hungarian GP performance.

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The Spaniard showcased massive resilience to keep the seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, at bay. He held back the Briton for 10 laps, which subsequently helped his teammate, Esteban Ocon, to secure his maiden Formula 1 victory.

While their decision to bring Alonso back is surely paying off, Alpine’s non-executive director and former world champion, Alain Prost, revealed they had doubts regarding signing him after his two-year absence from the sport.

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What did Alain Prost say about Fernando Alonso?

“Fernando was exceptional. We have to be honest–we all had little fears when we signed him, and today he proves to us that he is doing a season with an absolutely incredible mentality,” said the four-time world champion, Alain Prost.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso walks the track ahead of Steiermark Grand Prix REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

“He really does whatever it takes for the team. Of course, in the car, he knew what to do to help Esteban stay ahead, and that’s pretty amazing.”

The first Grand Prix win will move Ocon into a different dimension: Prost

After the restart, Esteban Ocon took the lead of the race, which he held for all 70 laps. The Frenchman beat the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to clinch his maiden Formula 1 victory. Moreover, by winning the Hungarian GP, Ocon has become the first French driver in 38 years to win in a French car powered by a French engine; the last time it happened was in 1983, achieved by Alain Prost.

Meanwhile, Alain Prost believes the first Grand Prix victory at Budapest will now see Esteban Ocon’s performance level head into a different dimension.

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“I’m so happy for Esteban, he has had some very, very difficult weeks. But when you finally win a grand prix, you move into a different dimension. He knows that you can start eighth and win a race. Every time he starts a race now, he’s going to think about that,” said Alpine’s non-executive director.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon celebrates with teammate Fernando Alonso after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga.

“It puts in him in a different status at the team level. It will stabilise everyone. There were a lot of small criticisms when he signed his contract for three years, so this will stabilise everyone.

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DIVE DEEPER

How Even McLaren F1 Boss’ Divine Intervention Couldn’t Salvage Prost’s Honda Relationship

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Can Esteban Ocon continue to display outstanding performances for Alpine this season? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

248 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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