Esteban Ocon has downplayed his close battle with Fernando Alonso at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix, calling it "just racing". The Alpine duo started the race from fifth and sixth on the grid, with Ocon ahead of Alonso. Going into Turn 1, Alonso tried to make a move up the inside of Ocon, but the Frenchman closed the door by edging towards the pit wall. He continued his defence as the pair moved back towards the centre of the track, and this prompted a frustrated radio message from Alonso. "Never in my life have I seen a defence like Esteban's today. Never," Alonso was heard to say. There was another battle between the two later in the race, and the event finished with Alonso and Ocon in P8 and P9 respectively, with both having struggled on a one-stop strategy.
Ocon gives his take on Alonso battle
After the race, Alonso insisted that he had no issues with Ocon's driving, and vowed that they will "never" have an incident. When asked about the duel between them during the race, Ocon similarly dismissed any concerns about what happened. "I think it was just racing," Ocon told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think we put ourselves in a difficult position at the pit-stop when we got delayed, we pitted a bit late. "The lap times on the fresh tyre [were] better. We should have come out with some margin, some gap, and and I tried to defend, not necessarily on Fernando [but] on everybody that I had behind. "But on colder Hard [tyres], it was difficult to do."
Strategy choices in Hungary were "not right"
Ocon feels that the team were let down by their strategy choices at the Hungaroring, with the Hard tyre proving difficult to manage. "I think it was probably a bit tricky to try and make that work," the driver said. "That Hard tyre was struggling quite a lot to work and to be fast, really. [I was] struggling quite a lot with the traction and the rear end of the car in comparison to the other tyres. "Probably the strategy choices that we did this race were not the right ones, not the right calls in general throughout the whole race, really. It probably would have been another story but, in the end, we score points with both cars. "We had a competitive weekend. Unfortunately, it doesn't reflect how competitive we were, but yeah, we still score points before [the summer break] and that's a good thing."