With Alonso running in third, Ocon was tasked to hold Perez up as much as possible with the Red Bull driver on an aggressive two-stop strategy. 

Ocon managed to hold his former Force India teammate enough to cost him around three seconds in lap time, aiding Alonso’s bid of a first podium since 2014. 

A late Virtual Safety Car period ensured Alonso finished third ahead of Perez, securing Alpine’s second podium finish of the season.

Speaking after the race, Ocon revealed that he was keen to help his teammate like Alonso did at the Hungarian Grand Prix, when he fended off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for several laps, allowing the Frenchman to claim his first grand prix victory in F1.

“So I came in the radio and asked ‘how far in front is Fernando’ and basically the team said ‘Oh you need to defend now’ and I said ‘that’s why I was asking you guys, I am aware of that situation!’,” Ocon said.

“I wanted to do my best to try and slow down Checo as much as possible for him not to be able to attack Fernando towards the end. The Virtual Safety Car came in the end so there was no need for that but I slowed him down a good three seconds and that’s what we needed. 

“It was not as easy to defend as Budapest because the straights are longer and he was on fresher tyres so it was a different set of circumstances but I am glad  I have played my part and I gave a little bit back of what Fernando gave me in Budapest.”

Ocon enjoyed a strong race of his own, finishing fifth to give Alpine its second-biggest points haul of the season. 

He admitted that he had “a lot more pace in hand” but was wary of pushing too hard given the tyre punctures that affected Valtteri Bottas, Lando Norris and the two Williams drivers.

“We overtook two cars on the launch, straightaway and then I managed to overtake Carlos on the outside of Turn 2,” he added. “From there on, I was not too surprised because we saw what pace we had in FP2 and I was one of the quickest in FP2 on the long runs. 

“We knew that the car was going to hold, we knew that the car was going to be competitive and because of that I could trust it. To be fair, most of the race I was managing to not make the tyre explode basically. I had a lot more pace in hand. It’s a shame we couldn’t use it but the important thing was to the end.”