Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was in a league of its own as he powered to pole position in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
Qualifying in Montreal started in the wet and ended in the dry, but all conditions came alike to the defending champion as he took pole from Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.
Cars got out early with concerns that despite reports of improving weather, visibility and track conditions meant it was important to put a time down on the board early. Sergio Perez would show why those fears were legitimate in Q2.
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Sebastian Vettel impressed during FP3, but he could not find any pace in qualifying and the Aston Martin driver was the biggest casualty in Q1, with Vettel's teammate Lance Stroll being cut alongside Yuki Tsunoda, Nicolas Latifi and Pierre Gasly - who earlier on Saturday had his 2023 AlphaTauri ride confirmed.
Verstappen’s team-mate Perez was the big loser in Q2, as he locked his brakes and went careering into the barriers - meaning he was unable to post a time and failed to reach Q3 - and to rub salt into his wounds, the Mexican was made to walk through the undergrowth to get back to the pits, bringing a red flag that interrupted his colleagues' work in the rain.
George Russell in his Mercedes rolled the dice and went for slick tyres late in the session, but the track was not ready and he careered off the track to end his hopes of a shot at pole. With pole looking unlikely for the Mercedes man he was prepared to risk his place for grid position, but ended up down in eighth.
There was better news for the German team as seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton briefly secured a late second-place spot, using his decades of experience in difficult conditions but even later efforts from 40-year-old Alonso and Sainz dropped him down into fourth.
Sainz's fellow Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, will start from the back of the grid after replacing both his engine and power unit.
In a difficult day for many teams, Haas enjoyed unexpected success as Kevin Magnussen was fifth quickest, and Mick Schumacher was sixth, giving him an excellent shot at his first Formula 1 points on Sunday.
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