After securing a brilliant P5 in Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, heavy rain hit Suzuka in the hour leading up to the race start with Esteban starting on Intermediate tyres. The Frenchman moved up into fourth after Carlos Sainz’s lap one retirement with teammate Fernando holding onto sixth.
The race was then red-flagged due to the deteriorating conditions, which brought a lengthy delay.
Racing action resumed with Esteban now on full Wets under the Safety Car before the rolling restart with 45 minutes – 28 laps - remaining to the chequered flag. Esteban was locked in a race long battle with Lewis Hamilton where his adroit defensive skills proved enough to hold off the seven-time world champion for the duration of the shortened race in a brilliant contest in treacherous conditions.
BWT Alpine F1 Team scored 18 points from today’s Japanese Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon fourth and Fernando Alonso seventh after a shortened race at a rain soaked Suzuka.
The team moves back into fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship on 143 points.
Esteban Ocon (Started P5, Finished P4):
“To finish fourth is a fantastic result for us, especially in these conditions. It was a difficult start with the rain and poor visibility, so we had to be fully focused to get through the early stages. I’m glad we managed to race and reward the fans who have been so good in their support all weekend. Racing Lewis [Hamilton] is always a pleasure and I was having to drive while looking in my mirrors the whole time. Congratulations to Max for winning the world championship. He deserves it after dominating and driving brilliantly at every race. We leave Japan with a great haul of points, claiming back fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Following Esteban's best result of the season in Japan, attention now turns to the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in two-weeks time.
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