Bullish Fernando Alonso wants to ‘force an error’ from Red Bull for Canada victory

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso in the post-qualifying press conference. Canada June 2023.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso speaks to media .

Fernando Alonso revealed he is targeting victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, though he may have to “force an error” from Red Bull to do so.

The Aston Martin driver qualified third for the race in a rain-hit qualifying session on Saturday, with Max Verstappen taking a third consecutive pole position and the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg joining him on the front row.

Aston Martin brought major upgrades with them to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Verstappen has complained all weekend long so far about the downshifts in his Red Bull, but Alonso conceded the World Championship leaders are setting a very high standard at the front of the field for others to follow.

That is not stopping him from upsetting the form book on Sunday, however.

When asked by Sky Sports F1 which position he is targeting come the chequered flag, the answer was an unequivocal “first”, and elaborating on how he plans on going about doing that, Alonso explained: “So, the plan is to overtake Nico in one part of the race, hopefully in the first part of the race, because Haas, maybe the pace will will be struggling compared to our car that normally is good on Sundays, and then put some pressure on Max.

“I think he has been winning by 20 or 30 seconds every every race, so hopefully a little bit closer than that, force an error, or maybe a bad pit stop or something. You know, Red Bull cannot do things always perfect, so maybe tomorrow is the day.”

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With Red Bull having taken seven wins out of seven so far in 2023 and Verstappen being the runaway leader in the Drivers’ Championship, Alonso acknowledged that the team are doing an “outstanding” job – and it is up to Aston Martin and others to hunt them down.

But with that, he is enjoying the challenge that brings.

“We didn’t see any at the moment,” he admitted when asked if Red Bull have any weaknesses.

“This is outstanding what they are doing, so we just need to get better to learn from them because they are the best on basically everything – the pitstops, the starts, tyre warmup, degradation, they have no weaknesses.

“Driving, Max [has been] outstanding all season, he’s a tough competitor but it’s a beautiful challenge.”