Verstappen takes pole after rain-soaked Canadian GP qualifying

The session in Montreal saw heavy rain and changeable conditions.


Max Verstappen secured pole position for Red Bull in qualifying for the Canadian GP in a session dominated by changeable conditions and pouring rain.

The Dutchman came out on top after setting a fast time early in Q3 on the intermediate tyres, with the first runs of the session likely to be the ones that counted, as more rain was set to come over the Circuit Gilles-Villneuve over the remaining time.

With that banker lap in, Oscar Piastri caught a snap of over steer and went into the barriers, bringing out the red flags.

The session was restarted shortly after, but with the rain pouring down even heavier the cars began to come back into the pits with the drivers seeing no more chance of improving their times.

The big winner of the red flag was Nico Hulkneberg, who will start a race from the third time in his career from the front row with Haas, while Fernando Alonso had to settle for third for Aston Martin.

The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell came over the line in fourth anf fifth, ahead of Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, and Carlos Sainz.

Piastri will start the race from ninth, ahead of the Williams of Alex Albon, who made it through to the top 10 after a bold choice to go on soft tyres in Q2 put him briefly on top of the timing charts.

Perez and Leclerc stumble

Given the challenging conditions, there were always likely to be a few surprise early exits from qualifying.

While several drivers only narrowly escaped from Q1, both Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc were knocked out in Q2 after each failed to take advantage of the temporarily dry conditions to set a time on slick tyres while others did.

As a result, the two drivers found themselves missing out on Q3 for the second time in two races, with Leclerc coming on the radio to question his strategy team’s decisions during the session.

Similarly, Lance Stroll failed to match his teammate’s pace in the Aston Martin, as the home driver was knocked out in Q2 down in 13th.

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