Esteban Ocon says his surprise win in last summer's Hungarian Grand Prix took pressure off his Alpine team, and the Frenchman and his crews want "more of those moments" in the future.
On August 1, 2021, Ocon became the 111th name added to Formula 1's list of all-time Grand Prix winners, the Alpine charger scoring a thrilling maiden win in challenging conditions at Budapest's Hungaroring.
Ocon had steered clear of the chaos that had unfolded at the first corner after the start, taking command of proceedings and never looking back.
It was an emphatic win for the 25-year-old and a triumph that boosted his team's morale while also alleviating the pressure on the Enstone squad.
"Yeah, it’s a great feeling and I’m also glad we’ve got that away also for the team," Ocon said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
"Obviously, it’s the first win since the Renault comeback in the new era of Formula 1, so next time hopefully soon that we are going to be in that position, we know how it feels.
"We don’t have as much pressure; we can just do our job and make it happen."
A lucky break coupled with a flawless performance by Ocon delivered to team and driver their 'jour de gloire'. But the Frenchman knows all too well the work that still needs to be accomplished for Alpine to contend for race wins on a regular basis.
"In my case, I’m still working the same way that I did. The guys that I have around me, of course they were really pleased with having that win, it’s the first one for many of them, but we want to have more of those moments, it’s not only one.
"We know we have a long way and hard work coming up but it feels obviously good and I’m proud to have lived that with them, with such a talented bunch of people."
Ocon reckons that Alpine's ability in 2021 to make the most of the opportunities that came its way, despite not having a particularly fast car, bodes well for the future.
"We knew we didn’t have the fastest car, we didn’t have the fastest package overall to be fighting at the front, but as soon as there was an opportunity, we were there to be able to take it: Qatar, Saudi, Budapest, almost Sochi for Fernando," he added.
"We wanted to operationally be on top of our game and we’ve done that.
"I think we can be proud of that, because that means when we are going to have a fast car, we can be fighting up there with the top cars and the top teams without being afraid."