Fernando Alonso celebrated a return to the front row after qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix by planning an early attack on pole sitter Max Verstappen.
The current world champion was quickest in his Red Bull in difficult conditions as standing water and heavy rain gave way to a track with better visibility, but patches of track posed plenty of danger, as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ George Russell discovered.
Verstappen will start alongside 40-year-old Spaniard, Alonso, who currently drives for the Alpine team as his long Formula 1 career endures as a result of his consistent performances and occasional reminders of why he once held the world championship trophy himself.
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Speaking to Sky Sports after the qualifying session, Alonso was pleased with his vehicle and the support from the crowd.
"The car was mega. I was so comfortable with driving this car and I think the fans also helped me to make an extra push,” he said before revealing his plan for Sunday, perhaps in jest.
"I think I will attack Max on the first corner.”
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Verstappen meanwhile was content to take pole on a day when others had suffered.
"I think today with the tricky conditions we stayed calm, we didn't make mistakes and we had the right calls in Q3,” he claimed.
"I'm super happy to get pole position and to be back in Montreal. It's great to see all of the fans."
Further down the grid, Haas’ Mick Schumacher was delighted with P6, giving him the chance to score a first point in Formula 1.
"The car was great,” he said. “I found grip everywhere I put the car. On the last set of tyres, I had to slow down because of Carlos (Sainz) and they cooled down a bit. But, up to then I was very, very happy.
"It's something I can build on and grow from. I always loved racing in the wet conditions. On a track like this, there's big potential for drivers showing what they can do."
Canadian Grand Prix
‘I have to be ready’ - Verstappen aware of early battle against Alonso in Canada
Canadian Grand Prix
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