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Alpine director doesn't feel team have taken step forward with pace despite win

Alpine might have claimed a surprise win with Esteban Ocon in Hungary but the team's sporting director Alan Permane isn't expecting their position in the midfield battle to improve as a result.

Alpine's Alan Permane doesn't feel that the team have taken a step forward in terms of pace despite winning the Hungarian Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon claimed a surprise debut victory in a chaotic race at the Hungaroring whilst teammate Fernando Alonso put in one of the standout performances of the day, with the Spaniard's defensive driving helping to prevent Lewis Hamilton from catching Ocon. Alonso eventually finished the race in fifth, though was promoted to fourth due to second-placed Sebastian Vettel's subsequent disqualification. Whilst Alpine impressively managed to keep many arguably faster cars behind them, Permane - the team's sporting director - isn't convinced that they have progressed in the tight midfield battle. "I don't think so, unfortunately," Permane told media including RacingNews365.com . "I think if you look at where we were in qualifying... This track we felt would suit us. "I think we are where we are. We will continue learning [about] the car and we will continue improving it, but only by small amounts like others will do [with] theirs." Permane is expecting Alpine to face more of a challenge when the 2021 F1 season resumes at Belgium's Spa circuit following the summer break. "[The] next race is a tough one," Permane said. "It's a long, quick track and we're a bit nervous about that in the race. "We don't feel we have the same performance on those very long tracks, the high energy demand tracks, but we're not thinking that far ahead at the moment." Alpine's strong points haul in Hungary has given the team a boost in the Constructors' Championship. The French outfit are in fifth place with 77 points, nine points ahead of AlphaTauri in sixth. However, they are still a considerable distance behind Ferrari and McLaren, who both now have 163 points each as they battle for third place.

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