The Spaniard will start from the front row of the grid for the first time since Germany 2012 as only Max Verstappen could beat him, with Carlos Sainz third
Fernando Alonso, and nothing more. At the age of 41, on a water-flooded track and rumors of his future looming, the two-time Spanish champion achieved a memorable second place that will allow him to fight to win if he is able to overcome Max Verstappen himself. . The current world champion was the only one in power with the Asturian in a classification that was played in the water.
And under those circumstances the old wolf howled again. Alonso called for chaos a few races ago, and Montreal is a hands-on circuit, where courage with a head prevails. As Alonso set the best time in the third free practice, also contested with water, it was already clear that he would go to war in the standings. In Q1, he came in second, completely at odds with water, and it looked like things would get more complicated when there was a red flag in Q2 caused by ‘Checo’ Pérez. The Mexican crashed at the chicane between Turns 3 and 4, causing him to come to a stop and the track to dry up a bit.
The fear that the drier track would melt the Alpine was immediately dispelled. Although the track got better by the second, the A522 and the intermediate tires behaved like a charm and in Q2 it was again second. Logic suggested it would fall in Q3. but not. That’s where the intelligence factor came in, which Alonso has more than developed. He saw George Russell throw a riot on the table and come to the pits on the soft, dry tires. and it went wrong. The Briton was thrown off the track and Alonso didn’t think twice: he started his lap looking for a bell, even risking an accident, only to stay just 6 tenths behind an impossible-to-catch Verstappen.
Carlos Sainz obeyed. The Madrid man is Ferrari’s big bet, forced as Charles Leclerc will be the last to start after having his engine replaced. The Monegask will sacrifice this race to be better for the rest of the races, but it had to be the Spaniard who gave the calluses. After an issue in Q1 that caused him to go off track (and nearly stop), Sainz did his best to score a more than decent third place.
Both Alonso and Sainz will go for everything, even to win, but in the race the conditions will be different. It is expected that there will be no rain, so the first meters will be crucial. There the old fox has already warned that he will go all out.
The surprise of finishing second took him completely by surprise. Alonso appeared in the press corralito as always, because he did not remember to go to the press conference of the first three, although it was not necessary to wait so long to hear his statements because he was interviewed at the foot of the circuit from Jacques Villeneuve, who was teammate with the Asturian at Renault for a few races.
Alonso was delighted. Encouraged by hundreds of fans, who admire the legend and move with the pilot thanks to performances like yesterday’s, he promised battle. “It was an incredible weekend, we have been competitive since free practice 1, where we are usually, but also on Saturday, where we usually lose something,” the Spaniard admitted, before praising the team’s work. “The car was ‘mega’ today, I’ve been really good with the car and the fans have given me that extra push,” he said, pulling out a grandstand tactic to get another roar from the stands. He ended his words with a statement that, quoting the famous phrase from ‘Airbag’, was not shapes, but boasts: “I think I’ll attack Max (Verstappen) in the first corner.” A whole statement of intent that promises to give at least some memorable first meters in a weekend in which at least the two Spaniards opt for the podium.
Whatever happens in the race, Alonso will never forget this Canadian Grand Prix. It is expected to be dry, predictably reducing his favoritism, but achieving his best result since the 2012 German GP when he took pole, and starting second, something he hadn’t achieved since the Spanish GP that year, is something you can’t let go of. A Sunday comes from those who make it a hobby.
Source: La Verdad
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