Alpine’s Fernando Alonso has hailed his front-row start for 2022 Canadian Grand Prix as an “amazing result” following a wet Qualifying session.
Alonso has enjoyed a strong weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada, as he finished third and fifth respectively in Friday’s practice sessions in dry conditions before topping a wet FP3 yesterday (18 June) with the rain lingering around until Qualifying.
The Spaniard went on to show competitive pace across all three parts of Qualifying but saved his best lap until the checkered flag in Q3, which saw him ultimately snatch a shock front-row start from second alongside pole-sitter, Max Verstappen.
Reflecting on his surprise first front-row start since returning to F1 last season after a two-year sabbatical, Alonso said: “It’s an amazing result for us to take second place today, so I’m feeling very pleased.
“It was impossible to know the grip levels on each lap in those conditions and that made it even more challenging.”
On what it meant to be on the front row and facing a potential scrap against Verstappen into the opening corner, Alonso teased: “In the end, I think it’s a little bit unexpected to be on the front row, but it will be very nice to line-up there tomorrow.
“Let’s see if we can fight with Max [Verstappen] into turn one, though, that said, aiming to score strong points will be our main goal.”
Esteban Ocon meanwhile qualified seventh but was “delighted” to see Alonso back on the front row for the first time since the Spaniard started and won 2012 German GP from pole position, following “a strong weekend” for his experienced teammate.
Ocon though admitted that he was “slightly disappointed” to not be higher up the grid and explained why, as he said: “We weren’t able to extract the performance that we know is there and I’ve felt a little bit off the pace all weekend.
“As always, we’ll continue the hard work with the engineers to find the marginal gains. Nevertheless, we have both cars in good positions on the grid for tomorrow and we’re in contention to score strong points for the team, which is most important.”