June 21, 2024

Fernando Alonso half a second ahead: Canada dominates

Formula 1’s best lap times on Friday alone attest to a huge lead for Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin. With a 1:15.810, Alonso set the clear best time of the day in the second practice session for the Canadian GP, ​​0.463 seconds ahead of George Russell. Lance Stroll rounded out the strong Aston picture in third place. It’s not entirely true, but it’s not entirely useless.

Fernando Alonso is apparently ready to record the result as a model with no value: “There were no real laps in the dry or the wet, we were in the middle.” Unsettled weather dominated the picture in Montreal throughout the day. Alonso pulled away early in FP2, allowing good laps on track slicks and using that to his advantage.

He got into the rhythm well, knew all the developments of the track, loaded the tires into the well in the window, and above all, he was out there when the track was good. Of course he is fast. Precisely because everyone drove at different times and the rain returned halfway through practice, there were no comparable lap times for the competition.

Mixed weather in Canada is Alonso’s big hope

On the other hand, it should be noted that the track allowed acceptable lap times on slicks for a short period of a good quarter of an hour before the rain returned. “That’s how it will be tomorrow,” says Alonso. “In qualifying and racing. It’s still very useful information. We have to analyze it.”

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Looks like cold, greasy conditions The Aston Martin is also surprisingly accommodating. Since the start of the season, the car has been known for high tire wear. As is often the case, a car like this has less trouble heating up the tires in the qualifying laps. So Alonso and Stroll could have an advantage here, entering the work window within a few kilometers on cold and wet asphalt.

They will undoubtedly welcome more rain in Canada. “We must stay awake tomorrow and the day after,” demands Alonso. “It might take you five seconds to make the right decision. If you make the wrong decision, you’re thrown out.” A completely wet race is especially true for Aston Martin, which is still questionable when it comes to tires even after the last updates.

In the last two Canadian qualifiers, Alonso has twice made perfect decisions in the rain. He finished second in 2022 and third in 2023. Last year he also turned it into a platform. Such a result would be a much-needed sense of achievement in 2024. For three races, neither driver finished higher than ninth. Monsoon salvation may indeed be coming to Canada. But the weather forecast remains uncertain.