Russell takes Canadian GP Pole Position, Verstappen with identical time

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Canada is always a close affair with differences very small, but an identical time of the top 2 had been a while. As Mercedes' George Russell was the first to lap in 1:12.000 he gets pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, ahead of Verstappen and the McLaren duo.

Qualifying kicked off with a fever as everybody went out quickly to secure a couple of decent laps with fear of rain coming in any moment. The resurfaced circuit and rain earlier this weekend enabled drivers to go more quickly nearly every flying lap, leading to a very variable timing sheet.

After 6 minutes Stroll jumped to the top of the timings, followed by Alonso who was later demoted again as his time was deleted. Verstappen on the other hand got off to a bit of a slow start but eventually surpassed Norris to top the timing sheet halfway into the session.

As Alonso moved up into 4th and the Ferrari's slotted in behind him, Stroll was seen brushing the wall of Champions. Verstappen had done the same earlier in FP3, leading to sparks coming off the rim.

With 7 minutes left the Mercedes drivers confirmed their FP3 pace with Russell going into first place and Hamilton in third. Gasly and Piastri on the other hand were left complaining of traffic, triggering a return to the pits to get new tyres to have a decent chance to still make it through to Q2 in the final 5 minutes. Sergio Perez was left in a similar situation though 2 minutes later, so even more pressure on the Mexican.

Everybody at some stage eventually went in to take a fresh set of soft tyres, indicating how close it was and how dangerous it was to get eliminated. 20 seconds from the end, Verstappen for instance found himself in 15th place and very much needed his late lap on fresh tyres to make it through in Q2.

Tsunoda moved up into second, Hamilton third and Albon fourth, dropping Perez out in 16th, much to the Mexican's frustration. The Red Bull driver was out along with Bottas, Ocon, Hulkenberg and Zhou.

Rain held off and Q2 also was a dry affair with quite a lot of track improvement. Russell and Hamilton was again on form with Piastri sandwiched in between the two Mercedes halfway into the session.

Max Verstappen meanwhile had trouble making a serious impression on a set of used soft tyres. After 5 laps and only 10th on the timing sheet he returned to the pits for a fresh set. He stood still in the pits for nearly two minutes before going out again.

Albon was also not going anywhere during that time as the Williams crew were desperately trying to the the right rear tyre fitted to his car in what should have been a race-like pitstop. Sargeant meanwhile moved up into 5th place with 2 minutes left on the clock.

30 seconds from the end of Q2 Verstappen moved up into 5th. Both Mercedes moved up to top the timesheet again while both Ferraris failed to make the cut and returned to the pits with 11th and 12th. Both Ferraris were on used tyres in their final runs and Leclerc was furious coming out of the car.

The many improvements still dropped Sargeant out to be 13th, ahead of Magnussen and Gasly. The Aston Martins were the slowest to make it through.

As the session finished the "rain" finally arrived and teams were anxiously checking the skies to decide which tyres to use at the start of Q3. It all turned out to be nothing more than just a few little drops, so it was soft tyres, as usual.

In fact the track had not gotten any slower with Russell lapping in 1:12.000 on his first attempt. Piastri was a bit offset but set a 1:12.103, later topped by Norris to end up at 0.021s of Russell. Verstappen was only 5th at 0.358s.

Ricciardo then moved up into 4th with his second lap while Alonso took 5th mostly thanks to a purple first sector. As Hamilton had a dismal second lap and ended at just 7th place, Russell held onto pole position despite Verstappen setting an identical time.


163George RussellMercedes1:13.0131:11.7421:12.00026
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:12.3601:12.5491:12.00027
34Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:12.9591:12.2011:12.02125
481Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:12.9071:12.4621:12.10329
53Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:13.2401:12.5721:12.17825
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:13.1171:12.6351:12.22823
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.8511:11.9791:12.28026
822Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:12.7481:12.3031:12.41424
918Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:13.0881:12.6591:12.70125
1023Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:12.8961:12.4851:12.79626
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1:13.1071:12.69121
1255Carlos SainzFerrari1:13.0381:12.72822
132Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:13.0631:12.73622
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:13.2171:12.91616
1510Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:13.2891:12.94018
1611Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:13.32611
1777Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.36610
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:13.43511
1927Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:13.97810
2024Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:14.29211