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Brundle praises Alonso: You can't keep the man down!

Alpine driver Fernando Alonso was the star of Saturday afternoon's qualifying in Canada where, in changeable conditions, he qualified on the front row alongside pole-sitter Max Verstappen.

Martin Brundle has praised Fernando Alonso's "competitive energy" after the two-time World Champion secured a front row start at the Canadian Grand Prix. Speaking in his column for Sky Sports , former F1 driver Brundle said he was thrilled to hear the roar of the crowd as the 40-year-old Spaniard put his Alpine ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and both of the Mercedes cars. "Fernando was the star of qualifying by constantly being fast and ending up on the front row of the grid to much applause, almost as if he has some kind of carbon-fibre-wrapped titanium bus pass due to being nearly 41," Brundle commented. "You can't keep the man down, he's a bundle of competitive energy."

How Alonso fared against Verstappen

Unfortunately, Alonso fell back at the start and failed to show the same pace in the race that he did in qualifying, even though he was determined to give it his all when the Grand Prix started. Despite the fact that Verstappen used to watch Alonso compete at the same time as his father Jos, the Red Bull driver looked forward to the challenge posed by the oldest driver on the grid. "Max said in jest that he'd watched Fernando when he was a kid, and although he was quite 'old' he looked forward to starting alongside him for the first time," Brundle continued. "Fernando, who has actually started alongside Max's dad Jos four times, said with significantly less jest that he was really going for it in Turn 1. "He didn't get a look in after Max's perfect start and, although holding second and then third with decent pace, Fernando's race would consistently unravel. "They didn't pit under the first Virtual Safety Car, and on the second VSC he was approaching the pits when the slow phase ended. This meant he would pit under green flag full speed conditions on a rather no-man's-land lap 28."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Shootout