Max Verstappen wets Canadian Grand Prix pole behind with Leclerc | Formula One

Relentlessly both in reliability and in recent form, Max Verstappen can be expected to leave the Canadian Grand Prix with what is quickly becoming an ominous lead after taking pole position in Montreal. During the weekend, Red Bull drivers were nailed to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but his title rival Charles Leclerc compromised with a penalty starting on the 19th on Sunday’s grid to minimize damage at best. You can only expect it.

For Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, weekend experiments in their cars made no progress, but the team was at least the third fastest and Hamilton the fourth. However, his teammate George Russell was only eighth after gambling with a smooth rubber in the last few minutes. Fernando Alonso was a great second for 40-year-old double world champion Alpine and showed off his class in wet conditions. Carlos Sainz was third in Ferrari and Kevin Magnussen in Haas was fifth.

Verstappen was majestic in Montreal in very tricky wet conditions, but suffering from Ferrari’s reliability problems, Leclerc seems unable to stop leading the world champion again. Monaco drivers wiped out new power unit components before qualifying after an engine failure in Baku. With his fourth engine unit, he has already exceeded the maximum of three allowed and has 14 races left.

In contrast, Verstappen was less confident in his four wins from the previous five races. Leclerc has been hit by two DNF and Ferrari strategic meltdowns in Monaco over the last three years. He took a 46-point lead after the third round in Australia, but Verstappen is now 21 points ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez and 34 points ahead of Leclerc. With Verstappen’s support for Verstappen as the number one driver this year, the gap with Leclerc is important and it’s becoming a crack.

Verstappen put himself in the best possible position to further expand it with a powerful performance in difficult situations on Saturday. With the track wet, the final lap required commitment and attention, and Verstappen found it with a natural touch.

Lewis Hamilton starts in 4th place on the Montreal grid. Photo: Jim Watson / EPA

After heavy rain, qualifying kicked off and drivers went around dangerous courses on their toes. As it dried in the third quarter, they continued to look for the last moment in the old-fashioned shootout to provide the most grip. Verstappen pushed the limits and negotiated tests, high curbs, looming walls, and heavy braking zones that accurately define this powerful truck on dry roads. Setting a time of 1 minute 21.299 seconds, he was completely 6/10 in Alonso.

Given his recent shape, Red Bull’s formidable race pace and Verstappen’s extraordinary tire management, he may not be able to attack on the front line on race day.

Hamilton returned the best qualifying of the season, but was still 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen. After the FIA’s announcement on Thursday, there have been concessions in the rules to combat the porpoising phenomenon that has plagued some teams, including Mercedes, this season, and their efforts to adapt the car on the spot in Canada. It was a pain. Hamilton said he couldn’t really drive on the circuit where he loved racing and had seven wins. He was able to revert to his previous settings, but he is not in a position to challenge the leader.

Mick Schumacher was 6th in Haas, Esteban Ocon was 7th in Alpine, Daniel Ricciardo was 9th in McLaren, and Zhou Guanyu was 10th in Alfa Romeo.

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    After locking up in the second quarter, Perez crashed, causing a short red flag delay and finishing in 13th place. Lando Norris of McLaren had a power unit problem and finished in 14th place in front of Leclerc. Ferrari has chosen not to set the time for the driver in the second quarter. Valtteri Bottas was 11th in Alfa Romeo and Alex Albon was 12th in Williams.

    Pierre Guthrie was 16th and AlphaTauri’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda was 20th, and his position behind the grid was solidified with a grid penalty for adopting new power unit elements. Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll were 17th and 18th in Aston Martin, and Nicholas Latifi was 19th in Williams.

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