Vettel snatches pole from Lewis in Canada

Vettel snatches pole from Lewis in Canada

08/06/2019

Sebastian Vettel took his first pole position since last year's German Grand Prix as he beat Lewis Hamilton to the front of the grid in Canada by 0.206s.

The Ferrari driver hooked up a remarkable lap on his final attempt to knock Hamilton off the top spot in the very last moment of the session. The second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc was 0.680s off Vettel and will line up third on the grid behind Hamilton.

The result is crucial for Ferrari, which has yet to win a race this season and arrived at the Canadian Grand Prix 118 points off Mercedes in the constructors' championship. However, with overtaking opportunities dotted around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Mercedes looking like the faster car over race simulations in practice, it is less than half the job done for Vettel and Ferrari.

"I'm full of adrenaline...," a delighted Vettel said after the session. "Very, very happy for the team. The last few weeks have been tough for us. The car felt good. I hope we can carry that into the race.

Daniel Ricciardo managed to take a surprise fourth position for Renault with a time 0.831s off Vettel and 0.008s quicker than the fastest Red Bull of Pierre Gasly in fifth. Valtteri Bottas spun on his first attempt in Q3 and then had a scrappy second lap to finish 0.861s off Vettel's pole position time. The result is a blow for the Finnish driver, who is currently Hamilton's closest competitor in the drivers' standings.

Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz will line up seventh, eighth and ninth after all the Renault powered cars on the grid made it into the final session of qualifying.

Kevin Magnussen crashed out of qualifying in the final moments of Q2, hitting the wall of champions on the exit of the final corner and slamming into the pit wall on the other side of the track. Magnussen walked away from the wreckage but the accident demolished the car and brought an end to his qualifying. It also had a knock-on effect for a number of other drivers on flying laps behind him, most notably Max Verstappen.

Verstappen had attempted to set a time using the medium compound earlier in Q2 so he could start on the more durable compound in the race -- the same strategy Mercedes and Ferrari successfully opted for. However, he was 11th after his first run and therefore decided to use the soft on his second run in order to ensure he made the top ten. But with Magnussen ahead of him on the track, he was unable to complete his lap on the soft tyres and remained 11th when the session was suspended.

"We tried it on the medium, didn't feel fantastic but the traffic didn't help," Verstappen said. "Then we went on to soft tyre but we got the red flag, so very unlucky.

"I'm not down, it happens in Formula One... I don't know, we aren't really on pace with Ferrari and Mercedes so it will be tricky to fight them tomorrow."

The same applied to Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat in 12th, Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo in 13th, the second Toro Rosso of Alexander Albon in 14th and Magnussen's teammate Romain Grosjean in 15th. However, all the drivers from 11th downwards are expected to move up one place as the damage to Magnussen's car was so severe that it is unlikely Haas has enough parts of the same specification to rebuild the car. If the car changes specification for the race, it will have to start from the pit lane as a result.

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez missed out on a place in Q2 by 0.075s and will start 16th on the grid ahead of Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen. For the 11th consecutive race, Lance Stroll failed to make it out of the first part of qualifying and will start 18th on the grid at his home race. He was running the same engine he used at the opening six races after his new engine for this weekend suffered a failure in final practice. He still managed to get within 0.069s of teammate Perez, who was using the new, upgraded Mercedes power unit, but both Racing Point drivers struggled to make the difference when it mattered.

George Russell won the battle of the Williams drivers at the back of the grid, with a 0.776s margin over teammate Robert Kubica.

George Russell won the battle of the Williams drivers at the back of the grid, with a 0.776s margin over teammate Robert Kubica.

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