Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso sees a “massive opportunity” to make ground in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings at the Canadian GP.
“I see Checo starting at the back tomorrow. Also, Charles is not in the top 10, obviously it’s a massive opportunity for us in terms of points for the Constructors’, and also for the Drivers’ eventually if Checo is not scoring too many points,” the Spaniard said.
Saturday’s qualifying session was dominated by the weather, with intermittent rainfall throughout all three sessions keeping drivers and engineers on their toes. F
errari’s Charles Leclerc missed out on a Q3 appearance having swapped to soft tyres too late in Q2, as did Sergio Perez, with the Mexican Red Bull driver missing his third Q3 session in a row.
In the championship fight, Aston Martin currently sits third on 134 points in the constructors’ standings, 34 points ahead of Ferrari. Alonso sits third in the drivers’ title race, 18 points behind Perez.
The Aston Martin team have started the year with five podiums courtesy of Alonso and seek to keep up in the development race this weekend with a host of upgrades. Asked whether the upgrade package will help him challenge Max Verstappen for victory in the Canadian GP, Alonso said it is too early to know.
“I think on the new parts, early days, still under evaluation, and I think we still need to optimise a little bit the set-up of the car now with the new package, which is what we found yesterday, that I think in Austria or Silverstone, we will extract the maximum of it.
“Yesterday was too short an FP2. But happy: the new parts were good and delivered what we were expecting. So that’s another very good sign.
“And let’s see tomorrow in a dry race if we can challenge Max a little bit. I don’t think that we are at that level, that’s for sure but in a state of being 20 seconds behind or 30 seconds behind, hopefully we are a little bit closer.”
Alonso inherited second on the grid following a three-place grid penalty for a red flag breach was handed to Haas’ Nico Hülkenberg, making it two years starting on the front row in Montreal for Alonso. The Spaniard declared has expressed confidence in his package was the key to his qualifying performance.
“The conditions were changing a lot,” he said.
“When the conditions are changing so much. I think confidence in the car is the key and yeah, I had a lot of confidence this year and last year.”
Last year in Montreal, Alonso fell to ninth in his Alpine from second on the grid.