Ahead of the summer break, Ocon triumphed in Budapest after a chaotic start in rainy weather that propelled him to the front, and the Frenchman held on to secure his first Grand Prix victory and Team Enstone’s first victory since 2013.
As Ocon’s victory was a milestone for Alpine in his quest to become a regular favorite, Brand CEO Rossi said the steady progression he sees within the team is even more testament to the progress he has made. by the team behind the scenes.
“It was obviously a highlight of the season, it was a testament to the good work done,” Rossi said of Ocon’s decisive victory.
“But I would say, and that surprises everyone, not as much as the 19 races in the points, or the P3 and P5 [in Qatar], it was a solid finish a few weeks ago or the fourth position of Esteban [in Abu Dhabi].
“It’s more the gradual progression, constant learning, constant improvement of the team that actually bodes well for the future and for the brand.
“The victory is great, don’t get me wrong. But it was obviously obtained under special circumstances. We went to catch it for 65 laps, so it was deserved.
“But in normal racing circumstances like the last few races it makes me pretty confident and proud of the team. So that was important just as much as winning.”
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Rossi is optimistic about Alpine’s prospects in 2022 after the team made a substantial operational step forward, beating AlphaTauri in fifth place in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship despite a slow start to the season.
Asked if he was nervous about the big reset of 2022, Rossi said: “There’s really not much in terms of nervousness because we have a lot to gain.
“There are a lot of advantages for us. Of course we can do worse than this year, but I doubt it.
“I think we have good different development on the engine side, which was necessary, good development on the car side, the roadmap that we have set ourselves for the start of the year, we are respecting it.
“And that brings us closer, maybe not at the level of the top teams, but we don’t know.
“Because we basically assume that if we gain that many aero points, that many kilowatt points and that many electric power deployments, we will close the gap between us and the best, assuming the best keep moving forward. “