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Ocon expects emotional return to scene of maiden F1 victory

Esteban Ocon is looking forward to returning to the Hungaroring after taking a shock win at last year's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Esteban Ocon is expecting an "emotional" return to Hungary this weekend, a year on from his first-ever F1 victory in the country. Ocon claimed a surprise win in mixed conditions at the Hungaroring in 2021, fending off Sebastian Vettel (who was later penalised) and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages. It marked a breakthrough result for Alpine following Renault's F1 rebranding process, with the team going on to secure fifth in the Constructors' Championship. While 2022 has yet to yield any podiums, regular points finishes mean Alpine now sit fourth overall, just ahead of McLaren.

Ocon has fond memories, but looks to the future

Ocon admits the return to Budapest will bring back plenty of memories, but that he and Alpine need to focus on continuing their points-scoring form. "I feel good and it will be emotional to be back in Budapest, for sure," said Ocon. "I can already feel all the memories of last year coming back. But that was last year, and we need to be fully focused as a team to deliver another solid weekend. "It will be important to go into the shutdown with a feeling of having really cemented that fourth spot in the Constructors' Championship. We know it will be difficult, but we have the team and the tools to do just that. "We will be giving it one last push before a well-earned break for the team who have worked incredibly hard all year."

Also positive memories for Alonso

Ocon's teammate, Fernando Alonso, also claimed his maiden F1 win at the Hungaroring back in 2003. As such, the two-time World Champion has similarly fond memories when he heads to Hungary every year. "We had a good car that year and we were building something very strong towards the next few years," said Alonso. "But, we weren't expecting a win that year. I think we found the circuit to really suit our package. "Of course, there was last year too, which was Alpine's first-ever win. "The race also tends to fall around my birthday (29 July), so it's a good weekend for me with lots of memories."

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