Esteban Ocon was happy to play wingman for teammate Fernando Alonso, and stated that he repaid him for what he did in Hungary.

Alonso ended a seven-year wait for a podium, as the two-time champion put in a shift in the sands of Qatar to finish third at the Qatar GP. He had Sergio Perez in a much-quicker Red Bull behind him, but crossed the line ahead of him thanks to a team effort.

Everyone fondly remembers THAT day in Hungary, when Ocon took a staggering victory. It was made possible by Alonso holding Lewis Hamilton up for the longest possible time, ensuring his teammate’s maiden F1 victory. This time, the roles were reversed, and although he didn’t cope for long, the Frenchman got the job done.

Ocon stated that he was happy to play wingman for Alonso in Qatar, and said that all he did was repay his teammate for helping him win in Hungary.

“I tried to give back a little bit what Fernando gave me, from Budapest,” he said, as quoted by RaceFans.

“I slowed down a good two and a half three seconds Sergio in that lap, so I was hoping that was going to be enough (sic).

“For me, from ninth to fifth is also a fantastic result. Very pleased with our race, our pace. We take 25 points out of AlphaTauri, what a day.”

Ocon extols “exuberant” Alonso in Qatar and distance to AlphaTauri
Source: Ocon (blue) was a team player in Qatar. news.tvs-24.com

Tyre-friendly

The race saw the one-stoppers suffer due to punctures and other issues with tyres. Alonso was the best one-stopper on the grid, and suggested that the Alpine displayed an ability to make the tyres last a long time.

“It seems that our car is kind on tyres,” he said after the race.

“We did a one-stop also in Brazil last week and today I think we had some margin to keep pushing a little bit more, but you never know, and Checo was coming quite fast at the end.”

Read more: Rossi takes brutal dig at Sainz – “Ocon is not a lesser driver than Carlos”

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