Before the summer break, Ocon triumphed in Budapest after a chaotic wet-weather start had propelled him into the lead, and the Frenchman held firm to take his maiden grand prix win and the Enstone team’s first victory since 2013.
While Ocon’s win was an important milestone for Alpine in its quest to become a regular frontrunner, brand CEO Rossi says the constant progression he is seeing at the team is an even bigger testament to the progress the team is making behind the scenes.
“It was obviously a big moment of the season, it was a testament of the good work done,” Rossi said on Ocon’s breakthrough win.
“But I would say, and it’s surprising everyone, not as much as the 19 races in the points, or the P3 and P5 [in Qatar], that was strong finish a few weeks ago or even the fourth position of Esteban [in Jeddah].
“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 particular circumstances. We went and grabbed it for 65 laps, so it was deserved.
“But under normal races circumstances, like the past few races, that makes me pretty confident and proud of the team. So that was important, equally as much as the victory.”
Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Rossi is bullish about Alpine’s 2022 prospects after the team made a substantial step forward on the operational side, beating AlphaTauri to fifth in the 2021 constructors’ championship despite a slow start to the season.
When asked if he’s nervous about 2022’s great reset, Rossi said: “There’s really not much in terms of nervousness, because we stand to gain a lot.
“There’s a lot of upsides for us. Of course, we can do worse than this year, but I doubt it.
“I think we have a good, different development on the engine side, which was necessary, a good development on the car side, the roadmap we set ourselves for the beginning of the year, we’re respecting it.
“And that brings us closer, perhaps not at the level of the top teams, but we don’t know.
“Because we basically assume that if we gained that many points of aero, that many points of kilowatts and electric energy deployment, we’ll narrow the gap between us and the best, assuming the best continue making progress.”