Sebastian Vettel will start the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position after a record breaking lap late in Q3. Despite Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dominating all three qualifying runs, Vettel laid out a 1:10 when it counted. It also became Ferrari’s first German led pole since Schumacher’s run in 2001.
Verstappen himself outqualified Daniel Ricciardo and will be in P3 for the start. His final qualifying pace 1:10.937, a bare two tenths shy of Vettel’s 1:10.764. Vatteri Botta splits the two on 1:10.867.
Ricciardo has his work cut out after coming back to earth with a thud. A 1:11.116 has “the honey badger” down in sixth, behind Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen.
Nico Hulkenburg, Esteban Orcon, Carlos Sainz in a repaired car from his practice sessions crash, and Sergio Perez complete the top ten.
Q1 was messy with many drivers having trouble getting grip as they got underway. However these issues were soon ironed out. Tragically for Haas driver Romain Grosjean, his engine expired almost as soon as he left his garage. Taken back in a diagnosis showed it was terminal.
Lance Stroll also had issues. In front of a home town eagerly awaiting something special from Stroll, his best was a lowly 17th.
Q2 had Ricciardo showing pace. Under pressure Fernando Alonso disappointed with a 14th in his 300th GP.
Q3 was where the fireworks were lit. Bottas started the fire with a sub a 1:11 time, the first at Montreal. Halfway through Q3 Vettel lowered that then lowered it again to his ultimately pole snaring time.
Vettel himself said: “In my final lap I had a small mistake, otherwise I think there was a little bit more but it was fantastic.”
Watch out, Montreal.
The race gets under way at 2.10pm local time.