It's race day in Canada, and yesterday's qualifying left a lot of unanswered questions for today. Will Alonso manage to take the lead off Verstappen in T1? How well can Leclerc recover from his back-of-the-grid start?
Let's start with the spiciest and -in my opinion- most exciting of those two questions. Could Alonso take the lead of the race on lap 1? Definetely not impossible. The Spaniard has shown multiple times how fearless and cleverly aggressive he can be, after all he's a two-time world champion. When asked how he's planning to approach today's race, in the post-qualifying press conference, he said "Turn 1, maximum attack! And then after that they [Verstappen and Sainz] can go and they can fight. But it would be nice, sweet, to lead the race."
I believe he could even win the race, especially if he's stratigecally benefited, or if something goes wrong for Verstappen. The Alpine looks very quick and steady around Montreal, and we all know what a great driver can do with a good car. Sainz could surely play a role in this as well, with Ferrari changing his car's ICE yesterday, we'll see great battles in the top 3, but I have a feeling that Alonso will be the one that dominates.
Now, Ferrari know this is a damage limitation weekend. They know it's very unlikely for Leclerc to win, although, if there's anything F1 has taught us, is that anything can happen in a race, and it's not over until the chequered flag is waved. Leclerc will need to put on his most stellar performance, in order to be able to recover from P19, so I think that a top 5 finish is probably what he could most likely aim for.
With Sainz on the second row, Ferrari could have a chance for a win, but it's not going to be an easy task for the young Spaniard. He has two brilliant World Champions in front of him to overcome, both eager to win of course: Verstappen would obviously love to win, to extend his lead in the Drivers' Standings, and Alonso is a very experienced driver who never gives up, and would be thrilled to remember once again, how climbing on the top step of the podium feels like.
Lewis Hamilton will start today's race from P4, not a bad qualifying for him, thinking how negatively he talked of the car after FP3. It wouldn't surprise me much if he could manage to score his second podium of the season, or maybe his first win? Canada has shown how unpredictabe it can be, and with a grid that mixed up, anything could be possible.
Ross very much hopes Mick Schumacher can finally get his first points of the season, but if I'm honest, I think he won't be able to fend from the drivers starting behind him. Ocon, Russell and Ricciardo would most definetely like to snatch that P6 from the German as soon as the race starts. I'd also love to see how the two Alfa's manage their race, with Guanyu Zhou starting from P10 and Valtteri Bottas right alongside him in P11. So, if I had to choose for a double points finish, I would rather go for Alfa Romeo, than Haas.
To sum up: my final predictions place Alonso right in the sweet spot for the win, with Sainz, Verstappen and Hamilton fighting for a podium. Leclerc could aim for a top 5, if everything goes well for him, while it's not impossible for Alfa Romeo to get double points.
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