Sainz and Alonso leave reasons to believe... again

Fernando Alonso at the controls of his Alpine. / REUTERS

F1 | CANADA GP

The good performance of the Spanish Alpine in free practice invites optimism, but that was already seen in Azerbaijan and it was not so successful. Verstappen, the fastest featured

Although by pure statistics, the great favorite for this Saturday on pole in Canada will be Charles Leclerc, that is not a guarantee, far from it, that he will win the race. To an unfortunate statistic referring to the ratio of poles-victories, since he has six of the first this year and has only achieved two of the second, there is a Max Verstappen who was brilliant in the two training sessions.

The first day of work on the island of Notre Dame, apart from making it clear that it is a very wild area as demonstrated by a marmot that almost ran over Carlos Sainz, confirmed that this is going to be a very even weekend. So much so that, despite the fact that Sainz finished 3rd, he left very good feelings.

The dreaded 'porpoising' became more noticeable in the afternoon than in the morning. It was not accidental either: between the first and second free practice, the FIA ​​announced that no punitive measures were going to be taken against those who exceeded the measures that they have to establish. This implies that the rebound, which was so hard for all the drivers in Azerbaijan, was reduced here... relatively. And it is that in the first ones there was hardly any, but in the second ones it was especially notable. "It's very serious," Sainz lamented.

One more Friday, the protagonist was Fernando Alonso. Third in the first free practice, fifth in the second, there are great prospects for the Spaniard. The problem is that in Baku he also did the same and in the end he disappointed. Nobody should take it for granted that this good result will be repeated in qualifying, so much so that the Mercedes are expected to be one step ahead. George Russell, for example, finished 7th and his natural one-lap position should be ahead of the Spaniard, but there it is: if he gets a clean lap, maybe Alonso can get a good result.

We will also have to wait to see what Ferrari decides with Leclerc's turbo. The blowout of his Ferrari in Baku left that engine unusable, but although they were able to save some parts, the turbo is one of the elements that will eventually have to be replaced. This Friday after practice they would decide, since the penalty of ten positions that he will have to comply with must be considered for a circuit, as is the case in Canada, where he can overtake.

To add more spice, we will have to be very attentive to the sky. Already in free practice there was a constant threat of a storm like the one that devastated the circuit on Thursday, although it did not occur with the drivers on the track.

The future of Alonso, for after summer

Although much has been clarified, Fernando Alonso has to think very well about his future. The Asturian knows that he can be in Formula 1, at most, until 2025 with luck and what may be his last contract before his definitive retirement (at least from the Great Circus) is an important decision.

Before going out to roll, Alonso responded about it. “I have read things. I'm going to wait for the summer break to make decisions. There has been no news, I have not spoken to anyone and things have not happened », he assured. The truth is that everything depends not only on what he decides, but also on what they do in Alpine with Oscar Piastri and Williams. The English team wants Renault engines, they are willing to do without the ballast of Nicholas Latifi and the young Australian is looking forward to signing, but as always in Formula 1 until it is signed and closed, nothing can be taken for granted.

Between jokes, Sebastian Vettel, with whom Alonso shared a press conference, hinted that if both could be here in 2026. «How old are we going to be in 2026, Fernando? You will be 46 years old and I will be the age you are now. We should continue, right? », joked the four-time champion. Nothing suggests that neither one nor the other will be on the grid by then (perhaps they will have left long before), but it is still newsworthy that two riders who have made history for this generation continue with that desire.

Source link