Even the rain that fell on Montreal failed to change the direction of the Formula 1 this Saturday (18). That’s because Max Verstappen wasn’t intimidated by the adverse conditions that plagued Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and went fast. The world champion led all stages of the rankings and left no one a chance. Verstappen is favorite to win and tends to widen the gap he already has at the top of the drivers’ championship.
The thesis is confirmed not only by the ease with which the Dutchman took pole position at the Canadian GP in the wet, but above all by his performance on a dry track on Friday free practice. Max used the high-speed sections of the Canadian circuit to his advantage to establish a steady pace, especially on the medium tires. At least in Montreal, Red Bull managed to reduce the small difficulties that Verstappen still has with the RB18, and this partly explains the enormous dominance the driver has exercised since practice.
“Yesterday I think we had a good balance in the car,” revealed Max. “It can also be a bit more track dependent, on street circuits in general: you need more balance up front – or it would be nice to have a car like that, which, I don’t think, was the case for me in the last two stages. But then in the race things changed. Because then you’re looking for a slightly different balance. So yeah, let’s see tomorrow. I’m looking forward to “To be there. So far, the whole weekend has gone well. We have to finish tomorrow,” added the championship leader.
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In any case, Verstappen has the performance in Montreal in his hands in any condition. And better: the closest rival doesn’t even wear red. The sensational turn made by Fernando Alonso at the end of Q3 it ended up making the Dutchman’s life a bit less complicated, despite the Spaniard’s ‘promise’ to attack from the front row.
“It was a very impressive qualifying for Max today: even in adverse conditions he was on top in all three free practices. When the track starts to dry out during the session, it’s always an extra challenge, you have to make sure you’re on the right track at the right time, so good job by the whole team to secure the pole,” said bull boss Christian Horner. .
“In the meantime, it was a fantastic qualifying for Alonso, I know he will be motivated tomorrow, but Max has to focus on the start, get a smooth start and stay ahead in the first corner, to keep attacking. We we are expecting a good race and a dry track,” he added.
Interestingly, Alonso tends to have one of the most interesting roles in Montreal. Sharing the front row with Verstappen, the two-time champion sees his podium chance materialize in the straight-line speed of the Alpine car. Although he doesn’t have the same performance as the Dutchman in this regard, the performance may even turn the start of the race into a possible more cautious reaction from pole, but it will certainly be a headache for Ferrari – it must to say it. that Alonso (and Haas, it is true) ensured the element of surprise that any classification with rain must have.
+Verstappen and Alonso share the 1st row: the starting grid in Canada
+Verstappen celebrates pole in ‘difficult situation’: ‘We stayed calm’
+Alonso praises Alpine and promises to attack Verstappen ‘at the 1st corner’
+Leclerc is counting on the pace to “get the peloton up as quickly as possible”
The case is that the Italians don’t have the same straight-line efficiency and miss. As we know, Charles Leclerc must escape the setbacks and impose a strong race for recovery if he still wants something in 2022. Therefore, the responsibility for saving Maranello rests on the shoulders of Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard starts third and cannot take advantage of the improvement on the track because he made a mistake in the final attempt. The problem is that the pattern is now more biased towards wet ground than dry ground – which tends to happen this Sunday.
“I think we are in a good position for tomorrow,” noted the Ferrarist. “I think it will be a good fight with Max up front, let’s see what we do with Fernando [Alonso], because he was very fast all weekend. So let’s see what happens,” he added.
The Ferrari problem: the rhythm is better with the soft tires than with the medium ones. And the yolks are the compounds of the race. “There is a wide degradation between soft and medium, but medium offers a better pit stop window and more handling than soft, so there are a lot of options in this strategy,” Pirelli explains in a statement.
“Starting with the soft tires and moving to the hard tires is also viable for a stop, but it compromises the race by the need for an early stop. The big unknown is the safety cars, but there is no no other way to prepare for it than to consider as many options as possible.
It was in July 2012 that Fernando last started on the front row. THE Formula 1 had barely ¾ of the current field rolling in the category, or 15 of the 20 current drivers. It was other times. This season is, for many, considered to be the best season we have had in the century, as it brought many wins. Alonso was a Ferrari driver and only lost the title in that formidable GP of Brazil in which Sebastian Vettel raced on the first lap, almost abandoned, managed to recover and took the Spaniard the third title. Fernando knows he has no chance of winning or fighting for the title. There was even talk that there would be an internal dispute with reserve Oscar Piastri to see if his life in F1 would follow in 2023. How to dismiss Alonso after his performance in the rain? How to question its quality and thus place it in a kind of raffle where its history would simply be left aside?
Alonso has a lot to deliver to Alpine since Alpine gave Alonso a “megacar”, as he defined it. Max Verstappen’s response in the post-qualifying press conference was a joke, of course, but the ‘old man’ can, yes, round the first corner after the dual start with the Red Bull Dutchman and the second, in preference to him. before. It can be, at least, for Alonso to feel like a top driver. The “old” is still new in soul and delivery.
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