Alonso: I’ll be celebrating my 300th grand prix

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will be contesting his 300th grand prix weekend when he drives out of the pitlane for FP1, this Friday, on the occasion of the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In those 300 appearances, the Spaniard has made 297 starts but did not make the grid on three occasions: the 2005 United States Grand Prix, the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix and the 2017 Russian Grand Prix.

Ahead of the milestone weekend, Alonso said, “I’ve always enjoyed racing in Montreal. It has the best combination of a great track, challenging street circuit characteristics, and it’s a fun city to visit”

“I’ve enjoyed some great races in Canada and I won there in 2006, so it’s a special place for me. Even more so this weekend, when I’ll be celebrating my 300th grand prix.”

Alonso will be looking for a strong result after his DNF in Monaco but knows it will be another tough race as McLaren continue to play catch-up.

But the double F1 World Champion cautioned, “This will certainly be a tough circuit for us, but we’re making progress with our package race-by-race.”

“A little bit of the drama or changeable weather conditions we’ve seen in Canada so many times in the past could offer us some opportunities – it’s up to us to take advantage of every possibility.”

Alonso is fourth on the list of all-time grand prix races contested with Rubens Barrichello on 323 starts, Michael Schumacher 307 and Jenson Button third with 306 – the latter two he should usurp when he contests the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September.

Of the current grid Alonso is the most experienced in terms of grand prix starts, with Kimi Raikkonen next on 277 starts followed by Lewis Hamilton on 214 amd Sebastian Vettel on 204.