Sebastian Vettel has beaten Mercedes to take pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix after beating Lewis Hamilton by two-tenths of a second. Ferrari went into qualifying with their best chance of the season to beat Mercedes on track, a tall order considering Lewis Hamilton’s record in Montreal.
The four times champion showed that Ferrari had the pace to fight the Silver Arrows for the first time since Bahrain. Vettel appeared evenly matched throughout with his Mercedes rival, but on his final lap in Q3 he pulled out a two tenth gap over Hamilton.
Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas appeared not to be on the pace when it mattered. Hamilton finishing the session behind the four-time champion, as he was unable to respond on his second run in Q3, and that allowed Vettel to take pole.
Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc also had a slow final run, his lap almost four tenths off his teammate in third. However, he has been placed under investigation for driving on the wrong side of the marker bollard at the Nine-Ten chicane earlier in qualifying.
Vettel said “I’m full of adrenaline. You know what, the feeling in the car when it just keeps coming and the feeling – it felt so good. I enjoyed it and I’m very happy and happy for the team over the last few races, it’s been very tough.”
Hamilton, “I don’t feel disappointment, we gave it everything I had got. They were faster and in the last sector they were killing us, the timing was right, procedures were perfect, we had P1 for a second, but we knew they were quick.”
Leclerc added “I don’t really know I struggled with the car and with the set-up. I struggled with Q1 so I need to work with that on trying to have the right set up for the final Q3 time. Congratulations to Seb he deserves it and hopefully, I’ll have a better race from my side tomorrow.”
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed his best qualifying of the year, out-qualifying the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly by eight-thousandths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was forced to abort his first run in Q3, the Finn spun exiting Turn Two then his session began to unravel as he suffered a number of lockups.
The biggest surprise of the session was Max Verstappen, the Dutchman failing to make it out of Q2. The Red Bull driver struggled to find time early in the session, he had looked quicker as the chequered flag came out.
Verstappen had tried to get through on the Mediums hoping to start the race on the more durable tyre, but didn’t hook up a strong enough lap and complained about traffic, forcing him to go again.
As the flag dropped, Kevin Magnussen became the first major casualty of the Wall of Championship. The Dane carried too much speed through the final chicane and lost the rear into the wall. That then cost Verstappen the chance of improving.
Ricciardo’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg starts seventh, going half a second quicker than the McLaren’s of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard was two seconds slower after aborting his final run in Q3. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat starts twelfth with teammate Alex Albon fourteenth, split by the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.
Both Racing Point’s failed to make it out of Q1, Sergio Perez missing out by three-hundredths of a second following Giovinazzi’s improvement.
As usual, the Williams drivers battled it out for last place with George Russell nineteenth and over a second behind Stroll. Robert Kubica was last after lapping seven tenths slower than his teammate.