Fernando Alonso says he was more excited about Le Mans than Canadian GP

Super-cool Fernando Alonso insisted he wasn’t particularly excited about his first front-row start in F1 for a decade, just minutes before the Canadian Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion was the star of Saturday’s wet qualifying session. After topping the final practice session, Alonso was quick again in qualifying and stuck his Alpine on the front row with a mighty lap at the end of Q3, pipping Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton to second spot on the grid as Max Verstappen took pole.

Alonso’s presence on the front row, for the first time since the 2012 German Grand Prix, went down well with F1 fans, who were incredibly excited for the start of the race.

And more excited than Alonso as it happened. Interviewed by Sky Sports F1 just a few minutes before getting into his car, he was asked by presenter Simon Lazenby if this was the most excited he’d been before a race in a while.

But Alonso shook his head, saying: “Not really, I think it was more exciting in Le Mans or the other big races. We are out of position and realistically we are fighting for P5, P6, so not too excited.”

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Alonso had promised to take the fight to Verstappen off the line, but he failed to get the jump on the Dutchman, although he did retain second place under pressure from the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

The 40-year-old is targeting a one-stop strategy after declining the chance to pit after two early virtual safety cars, triggered by the retirements of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and then Haas’s Mick Schumacher.

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