Fifth pole position of the season for Max Verstappen, already leader in the general clification.
Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) will start Sunday from pole position in the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, after setting the fastest qualifying time on Saturday afternoon on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit in Montreal.
The provisional leader of the world championship has won his fifth pole of the season out of eight possible and will start ahead of the surprising German Nico Hülkenberg (Haas). Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will start on the second row.
Qualifying was lively and took place in very changeable conditions, with a track that was first wet, then dry, before the rain came to reshuffle the cards at the end of the session. In this context, there were many surprises, but in the end, it was still Verstappen who came out on top.
From Q1, it was the Frenchman Pierre Gasly, fourth fastest time at the last Grand Prix, who was eliminated with only the 17th time. But the Alpine driver was hampered by the Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) just before the last corner when he seemed able to integrate the Top 15.
In Q2, it was the Thai Alex Albon (Williams) who set the fastest time to everyone’s surprise, while the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) took the door by respectively achieving the 11th and 12th in lap times, just like the local of the stage, the Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), only 13th.
Q3, which started in light rain, was truncated after four minutes by a red flag following an exit from the track by Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren). Once his single-seater was evacuated, Q3 was able to resume but in pouring rain and no driver was then able to improve his time.
Behind Verstappen, Hülkenberg, Alonso and Hamilton, the third row will be occupied by Briton George Russell (Mercedes) and Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine).
Another Briton, Lando Norris (McLaren), will start seventh, ahead of Sainz, who failed to save face for Ferrari. And the Spaniard could well receive a penalty and drop even further on the starting grid. The Top 10 is completed by Piastri and Albon, who didn’t even set a single time in Q3.
The Grand Prix, which will start at 2:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. in Paris, GMT+2), should be contested on a dry track since the weather forecast predicts a return of the sun on Sunday in Montreal.