Monday, 22 October, 2018

Sebastian Vettel takes pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix

The Mercedes pit crew practice their pit stops during the third practice session at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race Saturday The Mercedes pit crew practice their pit stops during the third practice session at the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix auto race Saturday
Cassandra Castillo | 13 June, 2018, 20:12

Max Verstappen scored around the track in Montreal to record the quickest times in both practices ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Now, with a primed auto and competition-ready attitude, Verstappen has swept every round of practice leading up to Saturday afternoon's qualifying session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Williams driver Lance Stroll of Canada pulls out of the garage during the first practice session Friday at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Brendon Hartley drives during practice at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

But he was beaten to the punch by Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) as he has to settle for third, ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley, whose F1 future is up in the air after it emerged the Toro Rosso team made a bid for McLaren protege Lando Norris, was 12th and 1.691s off the pace in the second practice.

"If we did the same as the others, it would just probably put us in the running sequence of everyone, so this is why we'll try it and hopefully it works".

Max Verstappen entered the Canadian Grand Prix weekend with a vendetta after a tough round at Monaco in May.

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"I'd say they're the ones to beat at the moment. And I think if I get a few more, I'll head-butt someone". The leader, as in the first exercise, it became Verstappen with a time of 1.12,198. "If we got in that mess around here on this circuit, it is not as bad as Monaco but it is still very hard to make much progress here". "The vehicle was working really well".

A four-time Formula One champion, Hamilton is looking for his fourth straight win and his seventh overall in Montreal, which would tie Michael Schumacher for the most at the track; no one else has won more than three times.

He has raced in the F2 series the last two seasons and now sits 10th in F2 standings after eight races this year, including a third-place finish at Baku, Azerbaijan.

While Mercedes and Ferrari opted to qualify on the ultrasoft tyres in Q2, Red Bull went for the hypersofts, which means Verstappen and Ricciardo will have the advantage of grippier rubber in the early stages.

But Ricciardo, who will start sixth, believes Red Bull can fight for victory - which would be their third in seven races in 2018.

Only Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz, who crashed out of the session, posted fewer trips around the track. "It was waiting, waiting, waiting and eventually we got out".

Ricciardo had problems early in the session, but after repairs was able to rejoin the fray and clock a very competitive time. "We didn't have the smoothest day and we had what looks like an electrical problem with the engine".

"We have got the pace in the vehicle to challenge for pole, but we are not really getting the best out of the hyper-softs", said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.

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