Alonso reflects on ‘tricky’ Friday despite going fastest as he warns of ‘gamble’ for rest of weekend in Canada

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 07: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes

Fernando Alonso believes that he and Aston Martin will need to “be sharp” on Saturday at the Canadian Grand Prix after mixed conditions resulted in limited running for the whole field during Friday’s practice sessions.

With rain delaying cars hitting the track during FP1, the weather again caused problems in FP2, with most drivers putting in their fastest laps whilst the track was drier in the earlier stages before showers arrived again later in the session.

FP2: Alonso goes fastest while Verstappen suffers problems during rain-affected second practice in Canada

Alonso found himself at the top of the timesheets thanks to his earlier effort of 1m 15.810s going unbeaten, but the two-time world champion admitted that it had been a tough day to take learnings from.

“Not really much to comment, to be honest,” Alonso said after jumping out of the car. “A tricky Friday for everyone – not many laps in FP1, not many laps in FP2. Not proper laps in dry conditions and not proper laps in wet conditions, we were in the middle of nowhere.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 07: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Aston Martin F1 Team arrives into the

Alonso has warned of the need to make the "right decision" on Saturday in Canada

“But it could be like this [in] qualifying and the race, so it’s still very useful information. We need to analyse a little bit the data and be very sharp tomorrow. I think the right decision can gain you five seconds, the wrong decision [and] you are out of the race.”

Asked if there had been any information gained from racing on the newly resurfaced tarmac at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Alonso responded: “[It] seems okay, obviously it’s not very clean also after the storm. It’s quite dusty but, at the same time, it feels quite good grip, so I think the new tarmac is a good one.

FP1: Norris leads Sainz and Leclerc during wet first practice in Canada

“We just need to test it in proper wet conditions, if there is any aquaplaning or something like that. It’s going to be an interesting weekend for you guys from the outside, but for us it’s going to be a gamble always in which tyre to put in which moment. Let’s see if we get it right.”

Alonso’s team mate Lance Stroll finished second practice in P3, and the Canadian felt that the changing conditions offered an opportunity for learnings on different tyre compounds.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 07: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on

Stroll ended the opening day of his home event in third place on the timesheets

“It was a bit of a slow day – the weather and stuff, not much running, not too many laps,” he explained. “But FP2 was… we at least did some driving, did some laps on inters and then a bit on slicks with a drying track, so [we] learned a few things.

“New tarmac and stuff is behaving a little bit differently, but yeah, it was a good day of learning.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from an interrupted FP1 in Canada as Norris goes fastest

Pushed further on what he can take going into Free Practice 3 and qualifying on Saturday, Stroll added: “Some set-up work and a little bit [on] how the tyres are behaving, the inters and stuff, which was the first time this year I think we ran on them.”

The weather forecast hints at a continued possibility of rain throughout the rest of the weekend in Montreal. However, Stroll – known for performing well in wet weather – stated that he was “comfortable in all the conditions” seen during Friday.


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Alonso brands Canadian GP ‘a fantastic race’ for Aston Martin after double points haul