Prost: Ocon win gives ‘much necessary’ boost to Alpine morale
Alpine director Alian Prost says Esteban Ocon’s triumph in the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided the French outfit with a much-needed boost to its morale.
Prost witnessed Ocon and Alpine’s day of glory from afar as the Enstone squad’s non-executive director was not on site in Budapest, having remained in France.
But Prost’s absence took nothing away from the overwhelming joy felt by the four-time F1 world champion following the team’s milestone achievement.
“It’s an important win for Esteban, for the team and for the Alpine brand as this is a very ambitious marketing project,” commented Prost, speaking to French broadcaster Canal Plus.
“I’m really happy for Esteban, because he endured some difficult moments recently, some very complicated weeks.
“Luck obviously played a part, but you need to take advantage of it and the entire team, starting with Esteban, did just that.
“It’s a timely win, just before the summer break, that will boost the morale of the whole team which really needs it”.
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Prost insisted that becoming a bona fide Grand Prix winner will prove transformational for Ocon.
“When you become a winner in F1, you enter a different dimension,” explained the 66-year-old F1 legend.
“He started eighth and was able to win the race. He’ll be thinking about that at the start of every Grand Prix, and it will give him a different status in the team.
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Prost also reckoned that last weekend’s win will silence those who criticized Alpine’s recent decision to extend Ocon’s contract with the French outfit until the end of 2024.
“There was a lot of unfortunate criticism after the signing of the three-year deal, so this will settle things down,” added Prost.
“Along with Fernando Alonso, we’ll have a dynamic duo that will only become more and more complimentary over time, and that’s very positive.”
Prost noted that Ocon’s performance in last Sunday’s race immediately “galvanized’ the entire Alpine team.
“When you look at the pit stops [2.3s for both cars], we’ve never done that as it’s never been our strong point,” he said.
“This means that when we’re performing, the entire team is galvanized, and we all do a better job. It was a magical day.”
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