Max Verstappen secures the pole for the Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.
In a wet qualifying session at the Canadian Grand Prix that provided a number of surprises, Max Verstappen of Red Bull claimed pole position.
He will start in front of Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas, which is often in the middle of the field but in which the veteran German performed well under the circumstances.
The second row will feature an all-star lineup, with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes sitting in front of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull is in 12th place, while Charles Leclerc of Ferrari is in 10th.
They waited too long to swap to slick tyres before the rain came again, which caused them to be eliminated in the second session.
Lando Norris of McLaren and Esteban Ocon of Alpine were placed sixth and fifth, respectively, by George Russell’s second Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz of Ferrari qualified eighth but later received a three-place grid penalty for obstructing Pierre Gasly of Alpine in the first round of qualifying.
Oscar Piastri of McLaren wrecked early in the final session, which allowed Hulkenberg to get the first row because it caused a red flag and the weather to worsen.
Hulkenberg, however, was referred to the stewards for exceeding the speed limit following the red flag.
Piastri will start seventh, ahead of Alex Albon of Williams. The Thai driver with British ancestry was another who excelled, finishing the second session first after taking a chance by starting it on dry-weather tires.
Williams’ ninth-place start is the best of the season so far, but he was unable to repeat the heroics in the final session.
After the talks, Leclerc will wear a memorial to Villeneuve.
Hulkenberg exhibits “enduring quality” to get front-row seating
Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, and Nico Hulkenberg celebrate making the top three for the Canadian Grand Prix.
In 2010, Nico Hulkenberg (on the left) made his Formula 1 debut.
On the difficult Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile Notre Dame, across the St. Lawrence Seaway from downtown Montreal, Hulkenberg and Albon delivered the session’s standout results, which were dominated by the constantly shifting conditions.
After going three years without a regular drive, Haas brought Hulkenberg back to Formula One this year for his expertise, and he served as a reminder of his persistent quality in situations where he has frequently performed well.
Before Piastri lost control at Turn Seven in the last phase of qualifying, he was the last driver to record a timed lap as the rain was just starting to get heavier.
The Australian rookie made a mistake after setting the fourth-fastest time in the second practice, behind Albon, Verstappen, and Norris.
Piastri wasn’t the only driver to struggle as the weather began damp, then dried up during the first session and a half before rain started to fall, at first softly and then more strongly, during the final portion of qualifying.
Leclerc’s day fell apart in the second practice session, even though Ferrari had shown quick earlier in the day and on Friday in dry conditions.
Albon began it on intermediate tires, unlike the majority of other drivers, but on his out lap he already radioed that the track was dry enough for slicks and he wanted to come in right away.
He followed the team’s advice to stay out and set a “banker” lap, and once he got back on the track on slick tires, he was never able to compete.
For the last portion of the session, he desperately switched back to intermediate tyres, but when he got out on the track in the pouring rain, he radioed to say the tyres were “not ready” and let out a heartbreaking scream to express his frustration.
In a worrying situation, Sainz was fined for failing to account for Gasly closing quickly as he attempted to terminate a flying lap when he and Ferrari were together with Yuki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri at the final chicane preparing to start one.
Perez, who drives the fastest vehicle and had aspirations of winning the title a month ago, failed to make the most of his tyres during the initial portion of the second practice and will start his third straight race outside the top 10.