F1 Canadian GP: Verstappen beats Alonso to pole in damp qualifying

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Fernando Alonso to pole position in qualifying for Formula 1’s 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz third for Ferrari.

F1 Canadian GP: Verstappen beats Alonso to pole in damp qualifying

Rain falling throughout the day in Montreal meant qualifying took place in similar wet conditions to FP3 earlier on Saturday afternoon, which Alonso led.

The Alpine driver stunned Sainz to slot into second with the final timed lap of Q3 – where all the drivers were fuelled to run for the whole session to take advantage of the track drying and the tyres being worked into the optimum working range.

Verstappen was untouchable out front, leading from the off in Q3 and he worked the pole benchmark down to a 1m21.299s.

Sainz had looked like he could run Verstappen close after setting the quickest first sector on his final lap, but while he stayed in contention despite losing a fraction in the middle sector, a big slide exiting the final corner meant he dropped enough time for Alonso to get in ahead of his fellow Spaniard a few moments later.

Lewis Hamilton took fourth for Mercedes, which split its strategy late in Q3 by fitting softs to George Russell’s car – a decision that backfired when the Briton spun at the opening corners on his first lap on the slicks.

Russell dropped from the leading positions to eighth by the end of Q3, with Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher leading in pushing the Briton down by taking fifth and sixth.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Then came Esteban Ocon, while Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu rounded out the top 10.

Zhou is one of several drivers to face a post-session investigation for their driving during a slew of off-track moments throughout qualifying or trying to find space in the traffic during the earlier segments.

Q2 began with the drivers split over staying on the full wets used throughout Q1 or switching to the intermediates, with Alonso using that compound the lead the way early on in that segment, just before Sergio Perez caused a red flag going off into the barriers at the Turns 3/4 chicane.

The Red Bull driver was also on the inters, but locked his right front and after snatching the other front brake he slid across the grass and quickly went head on into the barriers.

Although his car did not appear to be massively damaged, Perez took a long time to engage reverse and when he did he was unable to move backwards as his nose was buried in the barriers so was instructed to switch off his engine, with the barriers then needing to be rearranged once his car had been craned away minus its front wing.

When the session restarted after a 12-minute delay, all the remaining drivers headed back on the inters, with a dry line beginning to appear.

Leclerc did not bother to join them as by getting through to Q2 he secured starting ahead of Yuki Tsunoda at the back of the grid thanks to their engine-change grid penalties, but Lando Norris also did not appear at the start of the remaining nine minutes of Q2.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Norris reporting an engine issue pre-red flag confined him to the McLaren garage until there were just two minutes to go as the team tried to find and rectify the issue and although he did get out for one lap, he was soon ordered to pit again after touring several seconds off the pace.

By not setting a time after the red flag, Norris’ banker lap from the start of Q2 left him 14th and behind Perez’s best time from before his off, with Leclerc not taking any part in the middle segment and so being knocked out in 15th ahead of his pre-race grid drop.

With three cars in trouble or not on track, only two drivers were at risk of elimination and when Hamilton leapt up the order with his final lap, the pressure was on Alex Albon, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon.

The first two named set personal bests with Bottas ahead, but Ocon’s improvement with the last lap in Q2, which Verstappen topped, knocked out the Finn.

As in Q3 and Q2, all the drivers generally ran throughout the opening segment as the times improved by around six seconds as they blew the water away from the racing line, other than big puddles of standing water at the apexes of the first two corners and the exit of the hairpin late in the lap – with Verstappen ending up on top.

Pierre Gasly was eliminated in 16th, with AlphaTauri reporting that he was suffering from a brake problem on this left front wheel, which possibly contributed to his off late in Q1 across the Turns 9/10 chicane.

Gasly only briefly went off track but by not staying to the left of the bollard in the runoff ahead of the short straight down to the hairpin, he did not follow the race directors’ instructions and so will face a post-session investigation.

Sebastian Vettel was frustrated to be eliminated in 17th after being third in the similarly wet FP3 session earlier on Saturday afternoon, with Lance Stroll’s 18th place compounding a miserable qualifying for Aston Martin.

The other home hero, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, was knocked out in 19th, finishing ahead of Tsunoda, who pitted several minutes ahead of the end of Q1 knowing he would start on the back row in any case.

Results:

Cla Driver Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 1'21.299  
2 Spain Fernando Alonso 1'21.944 0.645
3 Spain Carlos Sainz 1'22.096 0.797
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 1'22.891 1.592
5 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 1'22.960 1.661
6 Germany Mick Schumacher 1'23.356 2.057
7 France Esteban Ocon 1'23.529 2.230
8 United Kingdom George Russell 1'23.557 2.258
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 1'23.749 2.450
10 China Zhou Guanyu 1'24.030 2.731
11 Finland Valtteri Bottas 1'26.788 5.489
12 Thailand Alex Albon 1'26.858 5.559
13 Mexico Sergio Perez 1'33.127 11.828
14 United Kingdom Lando Norris    
15 France Pierre Gasly 1'34.492 13.193
16 Germany Sebastian Vettel 1'34.512 13.213
17 Canada Lance Stroll 1'35.532 14.233
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi 1'35.660 14.361
19 Monaco Charles Leclerc    
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 1'36.575 15.276
shares
comments
F1 Canadian GP: Alonso leads wet FP3 from Gasly and Vettel
Previous article

F1 Canadian GP: Alonso leads wet FP3 from Gasly and Vettel

Next article

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes Canadian GP pole

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes Canadian GP pole
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022