Sebastian Vettel takes Montreal pole, Lewis Hamilton only fourth

Canadian Grand Prix - Strategy guide

Canadian Grand Prix - Strategy guide

"I quickly saw that it was going to be hard to take pole position but you always do your best and try to get the best out of the auto".

Traditionally unable to generate sufficient heat into the softest compounds as quickly as its rivals, particularly Ferrari, yesterday saw Mercedes, and particularly Lewis Hamilton, pay the price, as Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen claimed the front row for today's Canadian Grand Prix.

A defiant Max Verstappen says he is so exhausted of ongoing questions about his crash-filled campaign that he is going to "headbutt" someone if he is probed on it for much longer.

The top three kept their positions from the start, with Vettel leading from pole position ahead of Bottas and Verstappen.

As he returned to the pits after his final Q3 attempt, Verstappen was congratulated over the radio by Red Bull boss Christian Horner, to which he replied: "I guess I still know how to drive!"

An opening-lap collision saw Brendon Hartley and home favourite Lance Stroll take their leave nearly immediately, while Fernando Alonso's 300th grand prix was not an occasion to celebrate as he, too, retired early.

Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes will start beside Vettel on the front row.


"I think he's pretty headstrong; he won't let it get to him too much", said the Australian, who won in Monaco and now sits in third place, 38 points behind Hamilton, in the standings.

Before the race on Sunday, the vehicle Villeneuve used in 1978 will be driven by his 47-year-old son Jacques, the 1997 world champion, to lead the ceremonial parade lap.

It was clearly a strategic scrap as the teams were aiming to use the tyres in Q2 that would suit them best to start the race. Having shown formidable race pace in the opening rounds Ferrari had been on the back foot to Mercedes but they brought an engine upgrade to this race which has put them right back in contention. "Kimi I think was happier on one lap so probably he's one of the favourites, I'm not, but we'll see tomorrow".

"It was an excellent performance from Max to qualify in P3, less than two-tenths from pole position, topping a strong showing in the practice sessions here in Montreal".

We'll give you a few pointers shortly in what to look out for in today's race but it could once more be an interesting one for strategy, with how long each driver can make the hypersoft and ultrasoft tyres last a critical aspect.

The Red Bull driver said at a news conference Thursday before the Canadian Grand Prix that he's exhausted of questions about the crash in Azerbaijan that also knocked out teammate Daniel Ricciardo, or the one in Monaco that sent him to the back of the grid.

"Now he (Verstappen) is in the spotlight. any small error now I think he's probably going to get a little picked apart from", Ricciardo said. "It will be very close again".

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