A brilliant Qualifying saw Esteban line up P5 on the grid, following up on his fantastic form shown at the very same track - which last year saw him take his maiden win in Formula One.
Esteban started on Medium tyres for Sunday's Grand Prix, losing a couple of positions to the drivers on the Soft compound tyres at the start running a different strategy.By lap 12, Esteban held eighth position as he worked on extending the opening stint of the race.
The Frenchman made his pitstop of Lap 23, making the change to the Hard compound tyres in order to attempt the one-stop strategy and track position, around the notoriously difficult circuit to overtake on.
From there, patience was the key in making the one-stop work to the flag.
Esteban played the team game and allowed teammate Fernando Alonso through into Turn 1 as they attempted to make more progress as a unit in the latter stages of the race. Both drivers managed their second stints well, with Esteban holding P9 and on the tail of Fernando tthroughout.
It was a hard-fought 70-lap race in Budapest, after a late Virtual Safety Car caused Esteban to battle hardon the final lap to keep behind Sebastian Vettel - reminiscent of last years battle for the lead! Esteban however held firm, and was able to pip his rival to the line by just 0.1secs at the chequered flag.
Esteban Ocon (Started P5, Finished P9):
“We can be happy to score points with both cars today and that’s always a positive especially as we go into the season break. I don’t think we quite maximised our potential during the race and we’ll discuss as a team what we can do to improve. The one-stop was challenging today but we made it work to score points and I had to defend hard from Seb [Vettel] on the last lap. Overall, we’re still heading into the break in fourth in the Constructors’ Championship and we’ll be hungry to extend our lead in a few weeks’ time. I’m proud of the team for the improvements in performance over the last couple of months and we’ll aim to continue this upwards trajectory when the season returns after the well-deserved rest.”
Esteban heads now into the annual Summer Break, before returning to action for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on the 26-28 August.
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