Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Canadian GP commentary and updates – Qualifying

Minute by minute updates from the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix Saturday qualifying session.

F1 returns to the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal this weekend for the first time since 2019, following two years of COVID-19 enforced cancellations.

Max Verstappen emerged victorious at last weekend's Azerbaijan GP as the Dutchman headed a Red Bull 1-2, as mechanical frailties struck Ferrari and title contender Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen, who topped both practice sessions on Friday, heads to Canada with a 21-point championship lead over team-mate Sergio Perez, while Leclerc is third having slipped 34 points adrift.

Fernando Alonso led FP3 on Saturday, topping a wet session from Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel.

MercedesLewis Hamilton won the most recent Canadian Grand Prix in 2019.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Megan White


  • Verstappen takes pole for the Canadian GP
  • Alonso lines up second with Sainz in third
  • Bottas, Albon, Perez, Norris and Leclerc out in Q2
  • Gasly, Vettel, Stroll, Latifi and Tsunoda out in Q1
  • Leclerc to start Sunday's race from the back of the grid due to engine change
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Alonso, Alpine
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Hamilton, Mercedes
  5. Magnussen, Haas
  6. Schumacher, Haas
  7. Ocon, Alpine
  8. Russell, Mercedes
  9. Ricciardo, McLaren
  10. Zhou, Alfa Romeo
Status: Stopped
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the main event, with the race starting at 7pm BST (2pm local time). Until then, have a lovely rest of your Saturday!
So with that, we'll call time on this live text coverage of Canadian GP qualifying. It has produced a really shaken up grid, partly down to the wet conditions and partly down to the grid penalties. Either way, it sets up an intriguing race.
There you have it, Verstappen takes his second pole position of the season, and it must be said it was secured in dominant fashion with a 0.645s margin over Alonso.

Alonso on his front row qualifying performance: “It feels great, it has been an unreliable weekend so far. Thanks to the wet conditions today the car was mega, I was so comfortable with driving this car. The fans also pushed me on,” which gets a big shout from the crowd. “I will attack Max into the first corner,” that gets an even bigger cheer!

The biggest cheer of the day is saved for Alonso as he steps out of his Alpine having taken second place.
Hamilton was shuffled back to fourth place late on, but a super effort by Haas sees Magnussen fifth and Schumacher sixth. Ocon took seventh ahead of Russell, Ricciardo and Zhou.
But here comes Fernando Alonso, who puts it into second place with a 1m21.944s! Just as we said, it ended up being Verstappen vs Alonso, but in truth, the Red Bull driver was dominant, taking pole by 0.645s.
Sainz can't beat Verstappen, as his 1m22.096s puts him second for now.
Verstappen puts in a 1m21.399s, can Sainz beat it?
Sainz is on a quick lap, and so is Verstappen. This isn't over yet.
Final lap time.
Hamilton pops up to second place with a 1m22.891s.
Russell's slick tyre gamble has failed. He's spun off at Turn 2 and taps the barrier with his rear wing. Admiration for the bravery, but that was a step too far and too early.
Verstappen puts in a 1m21.620s - that's a mega lap.
Verstappen is already on another quick lap, which everyone else is struggling to match.
Instead, the majority have opted for a new set of inters. But not Russell, who is going for it on the softs! That's bold.
The first runners are now pitting midway through Q3. Does anyone gamble for slicks? It would be a huge risk in the current conditions.
As the lap times tumble Sainz regains second place from Schumacher but is still a quarter of a second off Verstappen. Alonso then pops back up into third.
Verstappen makes a statement with a 1m22.701s - putting 1.1s between him and nearest challenger Sainz. Alonso slots into third, fractionally behind his fellow Spaniard.
Russell sets the early benchmark of 1m24.006s of the early runners.
Turns 1 to 2 and the Wall of Champions chicane look very wet but the rest of the track is near enough dry. Just not dry enough for slicks.
Just like the first two qualifying sessions, plenty of early runners and all still on the intermediate tyres.
Let's do this. 12 minutes to decide the top 10 order.
Also a big well done to Zhou who has made it into Q3 for the first time in his F1 career.
It'll be far from straightforward, but going on the results from FP3 and Q1 and Q2, this could be a straight fight for pole between Verstappen and Alonso!
Q3 will start at the top of the hour, so that's five minutes to prepare for the top 10 shootout.
Verstappen displaced Alonso at the top right at the end of the session with a 1m23.746s. But out in Q2: P11 Bottas, P12 Albon, P13 Perez, P14 Norris, P15 Leclerc.
Ocon, who dropped into 12th place on his final lap, gets the job done to charge into the top 10 and bump out Bottas.
Alonso goes fastest with a 1m24.848s.
Norris pits at the end of that lap, so his afternoon is over due to that engine problem. The chequered flag is out.
Norris backs out of his first timed effort, so he has it all to do on his final lap. Meanwhile Schumacher jumps up to third place! Impressive.
The lap times are tumbling every second here, so it'll be chopping and changing until the finish. Ocon, Bottas and Norris are the drivers who need to find the time.
Ah, Norris has made it out on to the track with just under three minutes to go. Just the three Q2 drop zone spots to decide with Perez out and Leclerc parked up.
Still no Norris in this restarted Q2 session, who had been complaining of an engine issue at the time of the red flag.
And the lap time gains are instant, as Verstappen goes top with a 1m27.764s.
All drivers are on the intermediate tyres as the track has dried out sufficiently as the rain has relented.
Quick bit of housekeeping while the drivers complete their out-laps, Sainz will not be investigated for his Q1 off, so he and Ferrari can take a deep breath. In normal circumstances, this would now be a straight Verstappen vs Sainz pole fight.