Fernando Alonso, Alpine, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Alonso says experience was key to taking front-row start for Canadian Grand Prix

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says his front-row start for the Canadian Grand Prix shows the value of his experience.

The Alpine driver claimed second on the grid, his highest starting position for 10 years, in a rain-affected qualifying session. He said the team’s car felt competitive immediately.

“The car was good straight away,” he said. “We didn’t make huge set-up changes, we didn’t experiment too much. The car felt good from the first laps in FP1 so that was a help to build the confidence.”

With conditions changing rapidly between sessions, Alonso said his experience of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve paid off.

“It’s a circuit that I think you need some rhythm. You use a lot of kerb riding here and it’s quite bumpy.

“There are a few things that are there for many, many years. I guess for half of the grid it’s either the first time they come here or the second time because after the pandemic there was not many races hosted here in Canada.

“I’ve been racing here 16 or 17 years so as I always said, age and experience is always a help, it’s never a downside.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
Despite lining up in second place, Alonso says his target for the race is a top-five finish.

“I’m not sure about what the possibilities are tomorrow realistically. I will say that top five is what we should fight for.

“We have a very good starting position but we know our limitations. And we saw in many races already that Ferrari or Red Bull are starting last, or having a puncture in lap one or whatever, they still finish with good margin in front of us.

“So, I think the top four places are locked. So yeah, fifth is like a win for us. And that’s probably the spot that we should aim for.”

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Alonso says experience was key to taking front-row start for Canadian Grand Prix”

  1. Veteran-talks are boring. Deliver whenever you can, that’s what we need and want Fernando (& the rest)

  2. I’d say its a combination of his experiance but also having a car that’s pretty much settled in its current configuration. If he were changing parts every other week, he would be less comfortable. So yeah experiance and a settled car configuration.

  3. I suspect most of us don’t care why or how it happened Fernando. We are just delighted that it did happen.

    Now come on and give us a miracle race Sir ;)

  4. Do you think Alonso uses the same dye on his beard and hair?

    1. Jeffrey Powell
      19th June 2022, 14:37

      I am uncertain but I do think he is starting to resemble some nefarious villains featured on American crime dramas, perhaps a future career beckons.

      1. Jeffrey Powell
        19th June 2022, 14:41

        I mean as an actor of course…..

  5. Interesting comment by alonso, indeed a lot of drivers didn’t race anywhere near as much as him here, and also think his expectations are realistic, ferrari and red bull are too strong in normal circumstances.

  6. I’m sure Alonso is right about the confidence factor, though in the end the drivers with the best feel for the track and subtlest control tend to do best in wet conditions – which explains a lot about who ended up at the top of the grid. Will he attack Verstappen at the start? He probably should as it’s his best chance of losing fewest positions over the race – he knows the tendency will be for the car to be outperformed. But I can’t see it working for more than a few corners, Verstappen will be ahead at the end of lap 1.

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