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Alpine A521
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How a carryover Alpine blighted by politics gave Ocon an improbable F1 win

The Alpine A521 was an unlikely winner, but Esteban Ocon seized the moment when it was presented to him at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. STUART CODLING charts the story of Enstone's most recent machine to claim a Formula 1 victory

Rare it is indeed in modern Formula 1 for a team to race a car virtually identical to the one with which they contested the previous season. Rarer still for such a car to have been effectively signed off by technical leaders gone from the factory for well over a year.

But 2021 wasn’t like many other years in grand prix racing: a Covid-shadowed outlier where F1, having pulled off the remarkable feat of staging a contractually complete season despite the pandemic, had to navigate many of the same uncertainties all over again. Instead of providing the launchpad for the new ground-effect era, as originally scheduled, this was a year of make-do-and-mend, to the relief of the three teams which had swerved bankruptcy – and, indeed, F1 itself, having undergone
a radical process of enforced financial engineering to survive.

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