Vettel edges Bottas to Canadian GP pole

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel bagged a new lap record to pip Valtteri Bottas to pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver jumped to the top of the times after his first run on the hypersofts in Q3 and was able to shave 0.012s from the benchmark with his final effort to secure a 54th career pole.

Vettel’s record breaking 1:10.764s lap was 0.093s faster than Bottas (Mercedes), who briefly held provisional pole after becoming the first man to dip into the 1:10s bracket.

“The car was incredible in qualifying, it just kept getting quicker,” said Vettel.

“My final lap I had a small mistake otherwise I think there was a little bit more.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen impressed to snatch third with his final lap of the session to end up 0.173s adrift of the pace.

The Dutchman had topped the times in all three practice sessions heading into qualifying.

“I’m very happy with this weekend so far, the car’s been working really well,” said Verstappen.

“We’re just missing top speed. To be third is great for us and in the race I think we can do a really good job.”

Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth in the second Mercedes having appeared to lose time through lock ups at the hairpin on his flying laps.

Kimi Raikkonen will start from fifth as a mistake at Turn 2 saw the Finn slide from third spot after the first run in Q3.

Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top six for Red Bull as 0.352s covered the top three teams.

Both Red Bulls will however start to the race on the hypersoft tyres while Ferrari and Mercedes drivers will utilise the ultrasofts.

“It is the tail end of the top six so on paper it is not that satisfying,” said Ricciardo.

“It feels like we have made some progress in qualifying as we have struggled pretty much all weekend, we struggled for some rhythm.

“We had some issues yesterday and this morning we struggled in practice with some other issues, so I feel like we have always been one step back.

“I felt like the laps were worth more than sixth place. I feel like I didn’t do a bad job.”

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest in seventh ahead of Esteban Ocon (Force India), while the top 10 was completed by Carlos Sainz (Renault) and Sergio Perez (Force India).

Kevin Magnussen just missed out on the top 10 in 11th for Haas F1 ahead of an improving Brendon Hartley, who out-qualified his Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly.

It was the New Zealander’s second best grid berth of the season.

Sauber’s Charles Leclerc took 13th ahead of the McLaren duo of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who were half a second shy of securing a spot in Q3.

Gasly made a surprise early exit in Q1 after he was pipped to a spot in Q2 by the two McLarens.

Meanwhile, Williams continued to struggle as local driver Lance Stroll ended up 17th narrowly ahead of team-mate Sergey Sirotkin.

The pair fared marginally better than Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson who damaged his car after contact with the wall at Turn 9 early in Q1.

As a result, he will start from 19th alongside the Haas F1 of Romain Grosjean.

The Frenchman failed to post a time having been wheeled back into the garage after plumes of smoke poured from the rear of his car while trying to exit the pits.

The Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 0400 AEST on Monday morning.

Results: Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Driver Car Time Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m10.776s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m10.857s 0.081s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m11.096s 0.320s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m11.227s 0.451s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m11.095s 0.319s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m11.281s 0.505s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m12.038s 1.262s
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m12.084s 1.308s
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m12.238s 1.462s
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m12.671s 1.895s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m12.606s Q2
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m12.635s Q2
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m12.661s Q2
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m12.856s Q2
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m12.865s Q2
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m13.047s Q1
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m13.590s Q1
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m13.643s Q1
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m14.593s Q1
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Q1

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