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Qualifying report
Formula 1 Canadian GP

F1 Canadian GP: Verstappen takes pole in wet qualifying, Hulkenberg loses second

Max Verstappen claimed his 25th Formula 1 pole position in a rain-hit Canadian Grand Prix qualifying session, as a post-qualifying penalty denied a front-row start for Nico Hulkenberg.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Although a dry line had emerged by the start of Q2, offering drivers to take a chance on running with soft tyres, the conditions had worsened by the start of the final part of qualifying and the rain picked up in intensity.

Armed with intermediate rubber, Verstappen collected a 1m27.059s with his first lap of the session, as Fernando Alonso got to within 0.25s of the championship leader's opener in their respective opening gambits.

But although rain continued to fall, Verstappen found enough tyre temperature to produce a 1m25.858s, although Alonso had eclipsed the Dutchman's second sector in his follow-up effort.

But the session was red-flagged, as Oscar Piastri took too much throttle on the exit of Turn 7 and backed his car into the wall, breaking the right-rear corner of his McLaren.

Hulkenberg managed to put in a time good enough for second moments before the red flag emerged, but Alonso was unable to complete his lap and had to retreat to the pits.

The session resumed with seven minutes left on the clock, but the continued precipitation dampened any chances that the drivers could improve in the final half of the session.

But post-qualifying Hulkenberg was handed a three-place grid penalty for a red flag infraction, which meant he dropped from the front row to fifth place in the final qualifying results.

In further penalty news, Carlos Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll have each been handed a three-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix after impeding in qualifying.

Token running thereafter confirmed that, with some of the drivers remarking that the session could only be tackled with the full-wet tyre.

Alonso claimed the third-fastest time having been denied another shot to beat Verstappen, and starts on the second row alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Patrick Vinet / Motorsport Images

George Russell and Esteban Ocon completed the third row, ahead of Lando Norris in seventh.

Sainz could only manage eighth, but drops to 11th having impeded Pierre Gasly in Q1 in a session where the #55 Ferrari seemed to be of constant irritation to other drivers.

Piastri's time prior to his crash was good enough for ninth, as Alex Albon's Q3 effort was chalked off due to a track limits violation.

Albon had been the first to risk the soft tyres at the start of Q2 as a dry line began to appear, and it was a gamble that paid off once the Anglo-Thai driver collected enough tyre temperature.

The Williams driver fired his way to the top of the timing board and, although then eclipsed by Alonso on the intermediate compound, Albon posted a 1m18.725s to book his place into Q3.

This prompted everyone to try slicks, although Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez discarded their sets of softs without having set a competitive time on them.

The Mexican bolted on intermediates again as rain returned to the circuit, but was mired in the drop zone and was one of the two high-profile eliminations from the session.

Leclerc was one position ahead, having been dumped into the drop zone as Hulkenberg broke into the top 10 on his own soft-tyre lap.

Home hero Stroll recovered from a spectacular spin on the exit of Turn 5 and narrowly missed the wall, but could only set a time good enough for 13th - beating Nordic duo Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas - but dropped to 16th with his penalty.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Q1 was red flagged after just three minutes as Zhou Guanyu lost drive and had to park up on the exit of Turn 7, although the Alfa Romeo drive was able to perform a reset to get the car back to the garage.

The drying nature of the circuit in Q1 put the onus on the drivers to show continual improvement, and the session resembled musical chairs as the midfielders battled against the drop zone.

But both Tsunoda and Gasly encountered a dawdling Sainz at the chicane, and neither made it through into Q2 - Gasly venting his fury over the radio to suggest that the Ferrari driver "should be banned".

Tsunoda missed out on the cut having been 0.016s shy of Hulkenberg in 15th, who felt the Japanese driver had impeded him during the session, which duly landed him with his three-place grid drop and means he'll start 19th.

Nyck de Vries could not improve upon 18th on his final lap, as Logan Sargeant joined Zhou on the final row of the grid as the Chinese driver was able to return to the circuit - albeit slightly hamstrung by his earlier issue.

F1 Canadian GP - Qualifying results

Q3

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'25.858    
2 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1'27.102 1.244 1.244
3 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1'27.286 1.428 0.184
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'27.627 1.769 0.341
5 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 1'27.893 2.035 0.266
6 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'27.945 2.087 0.052
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'28.046 2.188 0.101
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1'29.294 3.436 1.248
9 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren 1'31.349 5.491 2.055
10 Thailand Alex Albon Williams      

Q2

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap Interval
1 Thailand Alex Albon Williams 1'18.725    
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'19.092 0.367 0.367
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'19.347 0.622 0.255
4 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren 1'19.659 0.934 0.312
5 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1'19.776 1.051 0.117
6 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1'19.856 1.131 0.080
7 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 1'20.098 1.373 0.242
8 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1'20.305 1.580 0.207
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'20.406 1.681 0.101
10 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'20.426 1.701 0.020
11 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'20.615 1.890 0.189
12 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'20.959 2.234 0.344
13 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'21.484 2.759 0.525
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 1'21.678 2.953 0.194
15 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1'21.821 3.096 0.143

Q1

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap Interval
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'20.851    
2 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1'21.481 0.630 0.630
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'21.554 0.703 0.073
4 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 1'21.798 0.947 0.244
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'21.843 0.992 0.045
6 Thailand Alex Albon Williams 1'21.938 1.087 0.095
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'21.998 1.147 0.060
8 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'22.114 1.263 0.116
9 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'22.151 1.300 0.037
10 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren 1'22.190 1.339 0.039
11 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1'22.248 1.397 0.058
12 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1'22.332 1.481 0.084
13 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 1'22.351 1.500 0.019
14 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'22.677 1.826 0.326
15 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1'22.730 1.879 0.053
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1'22.746 1.895 0.016
17 France Pierre Gasly Alpine 1'22.886 2.035 0.140
18 Netherlands Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1'23.137 2.286 0.251
19 United States Logan Sargeant Williams 1'23.337 2.486 0.200
20 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1'23.342 2.491 0.005

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