Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Verstappen overtakes Alonso and will start first; perez bumped

MONTREAL ( Associated Press) – Max Verstappen overcame slippery track conditions to earn his second pole of the season and Fernando Alonso took advantage of wet tarmac to reach the Canadian Grand Prix front row.

Spaniard Alonso was not in such a good shape in the beginning of the decade. He achieved this feat in the rain in qualifying on Saturday.

Instead, the current Formula One champion and current leader of the championship Verstappen’s performance was not surprising. However, this will be the first time the Dutchman circuit will start from a position of honor at Gilles Villeneuve.

Mexican Sergio Pérez hit his Red Bull with a wall in the second session and finished in 13th place. This will be the first time he has come in worse than the fifth in a year.

“Checo” Perez is second in the championship, behind only his teammate Verstappen.

Alonso, 40, initially thrilled the crowd with a daring lap to claim second place. At the end of time, he was placed in front of his compatriot Carlos Sainz and the British Lewis Hamilton.

“It’s been a wonderful weekend for us,” said the Alpine driver. “The car has been fantastic and I feel very comfortable driving it. Fans have asked me to give extras.”

Can he convert this strong performance into his first win on Sunday since 2013? To this day it is expected that conditions will improve significantly and the track will remain dry.

“I think we’ll attack Max in the first corner,” replied the Spaniard with a smile.

Later, he admitted that he would settle for a fifth-place finish.

Sainz finished third with Ferrari, while teammate Charles Leclerc did not bother to get his car back on track until after the first group.

Monegasque has already been punished with the loss of 10 places on the grid for an improper engine change. He was 15th overall, but would start in the back row with Yuki Tsunoda, who also changed engines.

Hamilton took his best finish of the season, fourth place, after recovering from one of the worst practices of the year at his Mercedes. A technical guideline issued on Thursday to reduce the rebounds experienced in that and other teams’ cars during this season made it difficult for the Englishman to perform on Friday.

Hamilton complained of neck and headache due to the rebound effect.

An undefined problem, 10 minutes from the end of the second qualifying session, apparently blocked the tires of Perez’s car, which went straight ahead and hit the retaining wall at the end of a curve.

Although the collision was not spectacular, “Checo” was unable to get out of the zone, and he missed the third session.

“It was a mistake on my part, and I apologize to the whole team because we had a great car,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
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