Fernando Alonso (12/1 – Race Winner) says “it feels good” to be back on the front row of the grid for the first time in a decade but he warned it will count for nothing unless he produces the goods when it counts in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Alonso, driving for Alpine, produced a big shock in qualifying on Saturday as the two-time F1 world champion managed to secure second place on the grid – his best performance since starting in pole position for the 2012 German Grand Prix.
The 40-year-old, who was crowned world champion back in 2005 and 2006, has only managed to pick up 16 points so far this season and is down in 11th in the drivers’ standings ahead of Sunday’s race in Montreal.
However, he turned the clock back to finish second in qualifying on Saturday, recording a lap that only reigning champion Max Verstappen could beat, the Red Bull driver sitting first on the grid after he went round the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 0.645 seconds faster.
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Alonso said: “I mean, it doesn’t mean much. I know what I’m capable of. Sometimes I do a better job, sometimes not so good and I try to improve.
“I’ve been working a lot in the last two years but yeah, I mean, it feels good, but it doesn’t mean anything. The race is tomorrow so we need to do a good race.”
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who will start from a better-than-expected fourth place.
But Verstappen, who is 2/5 to win the race, again looks the man to beat in Canada. The Dutchman leads the drivers’ standings by 21 points from team-mate Sergio Perez – who crashed out in Q2 and will start from 13th in Montreal – after five race wins so far in 2022 but he’s wary of what could happen on Sunday, with the race set to start at 19:00.
He said: “I still expect it not to be a straightforward race.”
Sainz is available at 5/1 to win in Canada, Hamilton is a 20/1 shot.
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