Fernando Alonso: “Our priority is to push to get into Q3”

This stoppage cost Fernando Alonso track time in both free practice sessions on Friday - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Fernando Alonso feels there is scope for improvement this weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after a frustrating Friday, with the Spaniard stopping on track during first practice due to a hydraulic leak.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team racer finished sixteenth fastest in that first session but could only complete thirteen laps before stopping at the hairpin, and then lost a significant amount of time in FP2 as his mechanics fixed the issue before returning to the track to complete nineteen laps in the afternoon.

Alonso finished seventh fastest in FP2, but despite the loss of track time, the two-time World Champion believes there is potential to advance to the final part of qualifying this weekend.

“It’s not been an easy Friday,” said Alonso. “We lost FP1 and most of FP2 owing to a hydraulic leak issue. Due to the lack of track time, the car isn’t yet perfectly ‘tuned’ and there’s certainly room for improvement with regard to the set-up.

“Nevertheless, I think we know this circuit, we’ve raced here for many years, and we should understand how to attack qualifying and the race, so our time loss should hopefully not translate into too much of a handicap.

“Our expectations here are probably to be on the fringes of the top 10, but I’m glad we managed to put in some good laps at the end of the session, as we did in Barcelona, and we duly made it to P7 at the end. Tomorrow our priority is to push to get into Q3, but for that we need to do a good job.”