Alonso sets Canadian GP goal, vows Verstappen attack after 'amazing' P2

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Fernando Alonso admits maintaining second will be a very tough task after claiming his best qualifying result since 2012 in Canada.

The two-time world champion flourished in the rainy conditions in Montreal, leading final practice earlier in the day and then clinching P2 on the grid with his final run of Q3.

Unsurprisingly, Alonso was delighted with the result and praised some extra support from the grandstands.

“It feels great, it was an unbelievable weekend so far for us," he said in Parc Ferme.

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"We were competitive in free practice, which normally we are on Friday, but then on Saturday we seem to lose a little bit of pace, but thanks to the wet conditions today the car was mega.

"It was a tricky qualifying with a semi-dry track but still on inters and we benefitted from those conditions.

"I was so comfortable with driving this car and I think the fans also pushed me to make an extra push.

"I think we’ll attack Max on the first corner!" Fernando added, referring to polesitter Max Verstappen.

Noting his lack of recent experience at the front in F1, Alonso then set a realistic goal for Sunday.

"It was a long time ago [that I started second] and I am not sure if we have the car to remain in that position," he conceded.

"It was an amazing day for us. Starting on the first row was better than expected.

"Let's see tomorrow. Our natural position is always behind the top 4. It doesn't matter where they start. We are aiming for P5 if we can beat the Mercedes."

In the longer run, Alonso also thinks this result will give a boost to Alpine as they look to close the gap to the front.

"Lucky today with the circumstances but we are working hard to bring new things to the car. We brought new sidepods to Baku and new parts on the rear wing," he said.

"These kind of results helps motivate everyone back at the factory to keep working."