Fernando Alonso says he was forced to push throughout the Canadian Grand Prix in a race that resembled “70 laps of qualifying”.

Starting from second place, Alonso dropped one position on the run to the first corner, with Lewis Hamilton moving ahead.

Alonso trailed the seven-time World Champion for several laps before reclaiming the spot on lap 22.

However, Hamilton kept the pressure on the Aston Martin driver for the remainder of the race, forcing Alonso to push in order to keep hold of second place.

“I think it has been a tough race from the beginning,” Alonso said.

“When we lost a place at the start I thought that maybe that was already gone, P2, and I would have to concentrate on the guys behind, George and the Ferraris maybe. 

“But then, yeah, we were able to overtake Lewis and we had a little bit more pace in that part of the race. 

“And I was quite OK, until the last 20 or 25 laps, that Lewis was coming very fast and I had to push again to the limit. 

“So yeah, all in all, it was 70 laps of qualifying. So there was no time to rest. And I loved it.”

Alonso has long been hailed for his prowess during race starts and he is historically one of the best starters on the grid.

But despite having a less-than-favourable launch off the line at the Canadian Grand Prix, Alonso asserts that his reactions are still as sharp as ever.

“My reactions are still very good! No, I don’t think… I need to check, I don’t know if the guys starting on that side of the grid, they started good or not,” he said. 

“Because I only saw Max and Lewis, obviously, but George didn’t overtake me, so maybe it was just the wrong side of the grid. Yeah, I cannot answer now.”

Alonso took his sixth podium finish in eight races, continuing his strong start to life at the Aston Martin team.

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