Canadian Grand Prix – Fernando Alonso (Alpine): “I’m going to attack Max Verstappen in the first corner”

It was a time when Lewis Hamilton had only won a world championship title and Max Verstappen was still a kart driver. On July 21, 2012, Fernando Alonso took pole position in Germany and was on the front row of a Grand Prix for the last time in many years. Ten years less, a month later, the Spaniard restored the clock to join Max Verstappen on the grid in Montreal. A foot.

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Last week, in Baku, the Asturian offered himself a nice longevity record by competing in a Grand Prix 21 years, 3 months and 8 days after his first. At 40, the two-time world champion has been rejuvenating for a few weeks, while not long ago Alpine considered replacing his longtime veteran with his young prodigy Oscar Piastri.

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It would probably have been a mistake not to take advantage of the Oviedo driver, whose talent is still intact. In Montreal, after two days where he never stopped growing, you had to take his risk and be “hell of a flying shot“, as the Canadians like to say, to subject anyone not called Max Verstappen in conditions that close the performance gap between cars.

A strategy to destabilize Verstappen

Despite a nice one by Ken Block in front of the wall of champions, “Nando” still paid for the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz who, definitely, will have a hard time getting out of the shadow of his ultra-popular compatriot. So ask the crowd present at the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit.

This return to the future will not only appeal to those who are nostalgic for another era. Alonso’s desire and will, a bit lost in a post-qualifying protocol he had finally forgotten, still has something refreshing. When questioned on the track, the Spaniard made everyone’s mouth water: “I think I’m going to attack Max in the first corner‘ he said in a humorous tone.

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He then repeated it one more time in the press room to a journalist from air sports to have pointed out to him that Verstappen had called him”oldIt’s a strategy to make him nervoushe confided DAZNBut I’m not sure if it works

Alonso has rhythm

When it came time to regain her seriousness, Alonso played it a little more modestly, believing that her real position lies”between the 5th and 7th“and that he”will crash sooner or later in the race“Also against Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc, who start from afar. A great way to highlight his performance of the day.”

In reality, however, a podium seems far from utopian. After bringing new pontoons to Baku, Alpine debuted a new rear wing package in Montreal and has the power to hold onto the straights. †The whole weekendhe has shown that he is between 3rd and 5th in terms of paceemphasizes on Channel+ team principal Laurent Rossi. So I think he will try to maintain his position and build on the good performance of the car.

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And score precious points at McLaren, the 4th force on the grid, whose drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will only start from the 9th and 14th rows. †I’m confident, but you can’t dream too big“, remembers the Spaniard who has been dreaming for a long time. And that’s not bad.

Fernando Alonso (Alpine) waves to the crowd after qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, June 18, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

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