Esteban Ocon is barely 24. He is already misplaced his place in System 1, gained it again – and now extremely he is a race winner.
“It is a lot emotion,” he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. “You’ve got a flashback when you cross the road.”
Esteban’s victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix is likely one of the sport’s greatest surprises in years.
He is the primary French driver to win an F1 race in a French automobile, with a French engine, since 1983.
“All through all my profession, my household, every thing we have been by way of,” he says.
“You keep in mind the sacrifices you have made. It is fairly particular.”
What occurred within the race?
The Hungarian Grand Prix was extraordinary by anybody’s requirements.
A giant first lap shunt meant the damp race was stopped and later restarted.
That led to a uncommon mistake from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes crew as they opted to not swap his tyres to dry ones, regardless of the climate clearing up.
All the opposite drivers modified to dry tyres earlier than the restart, which proved to be the correct determination.
That, and the primary lap crash, meant Esteban was main the race in his Alpine automobile which might normally be nowhere close to battling for wins.
‘You’ll be able to’t be chilled – however you attempt’
“You have to do the identical job you normally do. However in fact we have been within the lead of the race so it is a massive distinction,” he says, recalling the early levels.
“You’ll be able to’t actually be chilled, however you have to attempt. There have been massive penalties if I misplaced the place to Sebastian Vettel who was in second.
“It is quite a lot of strain, however we we dealt with that basically nicely.”
Esteban held the lead regardless of Vettel, a 4 time World Champion, looming massive in his mirrors.
He was helped by his crew mate, double World Champion Fernando Alonso, who saved a recovering Lewis Hamilton behind him for a number of laps.
Fernando was racing days after his fortieth birthday.
“I purchased him a birthday current [a fancy remote control car, we’re told] however he deserves ten of these presents,” Esteban says with an enormous smile.
“He fought like a lion, elbows out. He contributed massively to that race win.
“He was most likely extra joyful than I used to be, he was leaping throughout like, a loopy child.
“He is such a legend. It is a privilege to be his teammate and to be working with him.”
Alpine is a French crew owned by Renault and regardless of its French roots the crew’s base is in Oxfordshire.
They final gained a race again in 2013.
Esteban says his journey to being a System 1 race winner hasn’t been a straightforward one, particularly after dropping his place within the sport in 2019. He returned with Renault final 12 months.
“I’ll do something to have a spot right here and present that I can shine,” he says.
“Profitable a race is a part of the dream to be World Champion at some point.
“We nonetheless have an extended strategy to go however I am certain along with the crew we are going to make some superior reminiscences collectively.”
‘Covid compliant celebration’
And some of these reminiscences have been made on the evening after the race.
Esteban spoke to us shortly after touchdown again residence in France. Alpine instructed Newsbeat there was a “covid compliant crew celebration” following his victory.
“It was a ravishing second. There was some singing there was some some shouting,” Esteban says while laughing.
“I nonetheless have not slept after successful the race. I really feel fairly unhealthy now, but additionally excellent. All the pieces it was value it.”
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