It was a time when Lewis Hamilton had only won one Formula 1 world championship and Max Verstappen was still a junior kart driver. On the 21nd of July 2012 Fernando Alonso took pole position in Germany and for the last time in many years was on the front row for an F1 Grand Prix. Ten years minus one month later, the Spaniard turned back the clock to accompany Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid in Montreal. Wow… The Spanish driver now reveals his plans for Max Verstappen.
Last week, in Baku, the Asturian had set a record for longevity by competing in a Grand Prix 21 years, 3 months and 8 days after his first. At the age of 40, the double world champion has been getting a new lease on life for a few weeks now, while Alpine was still considering, not long ago, replacing its old veteran with its young prodigy Oscar Piastri.
When asked about his performance on the track, the Spaniard made everyone’s mouth water: “I think I’m going to attack Max at the first corner,”
He repeated it again in the press zone to a Sky Sport journalist who pointed out that Verstappen had called him “old”.
“It’s a strategy to make me nervous,” he told DAZN. “But I’m not sure if it works.”
Alonso was a little more modest when it came to his seriousness, saying that his real position was “between fifth and seventh” and that he would “fall off sooner or later in the race”, even against Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc, who were starting from a distance. A nice way of highlighting his performance of the day.
In reality, however, a podium finish seems a real possibility. After bringing new sidepods to Baku, Alpine introduced a new rear wing package in Montreal and has the power to hold its own on the straights.
“All weekend he showed that he was between third and fifth in terms of pace,” team boss Laurent Rossi told Canal+.
“So I think he will try to keep his position and build on the good performance of the car.”
The team will be looking to take some valuable points off fourth-placed McLaren, whose drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris will start from ninth and 14th on the grid.
“I’m confident, but you can’t dream too big,” said the Spaniard.