Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Canada pole
Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to Canada pole

10/06/2018

Sebastian Vettel took pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix as three different teams secured the front three places on the grid for Sunday's race.

Vettel recorded a new track record in his Ferrari to beat Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to pole position by 0.093s, with Max Verstappen stealing third from Lewis Hamilton by 0.059s on his final attempt. Hamilton made mistakes at Montreal's Turn 10 hairpin on both laps, leaving him 0.232s off Vettel at the end of the session.

Kimi Raikkonen took fifth after running wide at Turn 2 on his second attempt, while Daniel Ricciardo had to settle for sixth with a lap 0.179s off teammate Verstappen. Red Bull's presence on the second row of the grid was something of a surprise but a positive reflection on Renault's engine upgrade, which debuted on both cars this weekend.

Tyre strategy in the race could offer Verstappen a better getaway than the two cars ahead of him as he is due to start on the stickier hyper-soft tyre while the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers will start on the ultra-soft.

Vettel, Bottas, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen all used the slightly harder compound in Q2, meaning they will start on that tyre in the race and are likely to attempt a one-stop race. Pirelli believes a two-stop race is actually faster, but after both Mercedes and Ferrari struggled on Pirelli's softest rubber in practice, their contra-strategy will allow them to complete the race distance without using the hyper-soft.

Outside the top six, Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest for Renault ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon in seventh. Their teammates Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten as Renault and Force India look evenly matched around this circuit.

Kevin Magnussen missed out on a place in the top ten by 0.211s, but improved on his free practice pace to qualify 11th for Haas. Brendon Hartley was the highest-placed Toro Rosso ahead of another impressive performance from Charles Leclerc in the Sauber and the two McLarens in 14th and 15th. It looked as though Fernando Alonso might be beaten by teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, but on his last attempt pulled out a lap that was 0.009s quicker than his teammate.

Pierre Gasly, who had to revert to Honda's old-spec power unit ahead of qualifying after a problem in final practice, missed out on a space in Q2 by 0.049s in his Toro Rosso and will start 16th. The two Williams drivers of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin will start 17th and 18th after setting times 0.5s off the pace of Gasly and 1.8s off the pace of the fastest time in Q1.

Marcus Ericsson hit the wall on the exit of Turn 9 on his quick lap and will start 19th as a result. The collision saw sparks fly from the front right wheel and nearly resulted in him collecting Verstappen, who was moving to the inside to let the Sauber past.

Romain Grosjean will start from the back of the grid after suffering an engine problem just moments after he left the pits in Q1. A large plume of smoke emerged from the rear of the Haas before he was told to stop and his mechanics wheeled his car back to the pits. The engine problem was the latest in a series of setbacks for the French driver, who has yet to score a point this season.

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