Fernando Alonso greets ‘mega’ car, promises to attack Max Verstappen in first corner

Fernando Alonso greets 'mega' car, promises to attack Max Verstappen in first corner

Fernando Alonso touted the Alpine car as “mega” after earning its first front row spot since 2012 in a wet Canadian qualifying session.

The oldest driver on the grid showed he had lost none of the skills that earned him two world titles as he navigated the tricky Montreal circuit and proved quick in practice sessions and then in qualifying.

Of Max Verstappen A step above all others, Alonso won the best-of-the-rest competition when he beat compatriot Carlos Sainz, whose stumble after the last corner cost him P2.

Speaking after the session, Alonso was pleased to see the car’s pace finally switched to Saturday on Friday and said the wet conditions played a part.

“It feels great,” he said during his post-session interview. “It has been an incredible weekend for us so far. We’ve been competitive in free practice, which we normally are on Friday, but on Saturday we seem to lose a bit of pace and you know, thanks to today’s wet conditions.

“The car was mega, you know, I felt so comfortable driving this car and I think the fans pushed me to give an extra push too.”

The Spaniard was then asked what he planned for the race and kept his answer short, promising to attack Verstappen in the first corner.

Speaking to Sky afterwards, Alonso admitted that P2 was a better result than even he had hoped.

“It was a great day for us, starting in the front row is a little better than expected,” he said. “It’s a much better result than we had hoped for, but we’re definitely taking it.

“It was a very tricky one, qualifying, semi-dry but still on inters and I think we’re taking advantage of those conditions.”

The last time Alonso qualified in the top three was in Brazil in 2013, but he was unwilling to accept that he now had a car that could compete for the top positions again.

“I’m not sure we still have the car to put us in that position, it was just today. I think I’m lucky with the conditions, but we’re working hard to get the car as fast as possible.

“We’ve brought new sidepods to Baku, also new parts here on the rear wing, so with results like this you can be sure that everyone in the factory will stay working.”

It was a very good day for alpine with Alonso’s teammate Esteban Ocon also starting in the top 10 after a P7 finish.

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