Mika Hakkinen feels that Fernando Alonso has repaid Alpine for the faith they have showed in him with his remarkable defence against Lewis Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso held off Hamilton for 10 laps despite being in a slower car and having older, harder tyres than the seven-time world champion which was pivotal for Esteban Ocon's maiden victory in Formula 1.
"I really believe he [Hamilton] would have won the race had Fernando Alonso not managed to keep him behind," Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet.
"When you consider that Lewis finished the race 2.7 seconds behind Esteban Ocon, and was lapping so much faster, Alpine really can thank Fernando for using all his experience to keep the Mercedes behind.
"That was a really fascinating duel to watch. In one race Fernando has repaid Alpine for the faith they have shown in him.
"I think it is brilliant that Alpine have won a Grand Prix. The last time a French car and engine won race was with Alain Prost at Renault in 1983, so this is a very special moment for Alpine - in its first season for the brand in F1 - and for the Renault Group.
"It will really give the team an enormous boost, and is a perfect result for Ocon after recently signing a new three year contract."
Hakkinen also praised Sebastian Vettel for his drive which saw him claim second place when he crossed finish line. However, Vettel was then disqualified for not having one litre of fuel left in his Aston Martin to take a fuel sample after the race.
"It was also a fantastic result for Aston Martin and Sebastian Vettel, so long as they keep the second placed finish," said Hakkinen. "Every team has to be able to supply the FIA with a one litre sample of fuel after a race, so they now have some nervous days ahead while the fuel system is checked."