Fernando Alonso: McLaren-Honda 'very, very competitive' in Canada

Fernando Alonso insisted the McLaren-Honda was "very, very competitive" in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying as he returned to Formula 1 for Montreal

Fernando Alonso: McLaren-Honda 'very, very competitive' in Canada

Alonso's reacclimatisation after his Indianapolis 500 IndyCar adventure was not helped by track time lost to hydraulic problems on Friday, but he bounced back to qualify a solid 12th on Saturday - 1.2 seconds away from Lewis Hamilton's Q2 benchmark for Mercedes.

Given that he had needed to adjust to F1 again and the Montreal circuit's long straights did not favour the Honda engine, Alonso felt the result showed McLaren's chassis was in good shape.

"Obviously FP1 was not ideal," he said.

"The first 10 laps, I felt that I had to adapt a little bit - the pedal position, the steering weight, the cornering speed - it was again a refresher.

"And then we had the failures. We entered FP2 very late, with half an hour left, so we compromised the programme a little bit there.

"But now we built the speed, and we performed quite well I think.

"I think I can extract the maximum from the car on every lap.

"Qualifying in Barcelona was good but it was a less power-affected circuit. Thanks to that we were seventh.

"Here the laps were also very good, we were 12th, but we know from our estimations how much we lose on the straights

"Being that distance from the Q2 best time, we were very, very competitive today."

Asked how quick the car would be with a different engine, Alonso hedged his bets.

"A very difficult question to answer, because I don't want to be in the headlines tomorrow saying anything that I don't know for sure," Alonso replied.

"As I said, we know our estimations, what we are losing on the straights. So we were very competitive."

He said he enjoyed being back in the McLaren, especially in qualifying, putting some of his strong performances this year down to the car suiting him particularly well.

"We know our weakness, we know our deficit in terms of power," Alonso said,

"I felt more or less from Australia this year, the chassis performs quite OK, in some circuits a little bit better, in some circuits a little bit worse.

"But this year's car, as I said in the winter, I felt it's very good for my driving style as well.

"I'm able to drive the car was I was doing 10 years ago.

"I'm able to push the car to the limits in every qualifying and race this year.

"In that part I'm very happy, and I'm enjoying the laps.

"Obviously when you cross the line you are missing a couple of km/h on the straight, but the rest of the lap is quite fun to drive."

shares
comments
McLaren dominates revived F1 raft race at Canadian Grand Prix

Previous article

McLaren dominates revived F1 raft race at Canadian Grand Prix

Next article

Toto Wolff could see Nico Rosberg racing for Ferrari in Formula 1

Toto Wolff could see Nico Rosberg racing for Ferrari in Formula 1
Load comments
The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021