Montreal-Red Bull Formula One leader Max Verstappen was in a frenzy to take pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday as Alpine’s evergreen Fernando Alonso celebrated his first-row slot in a decade.
Worstapen’s main title is out of sight of rivals, with Mexican teammate Sergio Perez crashing to 13th and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc dropping to 19th on an engine penalty to finish one run on four consecutive poles.
“I still hope it won’t be an easy race,” Verstappen said after his second pole in nine races.
“But in difficult situations today we were calm and did not make mistakes.”
His qualifying time of one minute 21.299 seconds was 0.645 faster than the 40-year-old Alonso’s surprising best time.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sange was the third fastest on a dry track and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was fourth for Mercedes over the weekend due to discussions about car and driver safety.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” Hamilton said, showing his best Saturday so far this season.
“We’re still a long way from pure speed in dry conditions but it’s great to be in the top four to qualify in that condition.”
Sunday’s race at Circuit Giles Villeneuve will be the first in Canada since 2019 and the COVID-19 epidemic will begin and is predicted to take place in sunny and dry conditions.
Worstapen has won four of the last five races, with the Red Bull chasing the sixth in a row. He is 21 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and 13 points behind Ferrari’s Charles Lecler.
The oldest man
Double world champion Alonso, the oldest man on the grid, was the fastest in the final practice and will be in the front row on Sunday while on pole to return to Germany since 2012.
The wise Spaniard said with a laugh that he planned to attack Verstappen from the first corner and hoped to lead at least for the moment.
Kevin Magnussen of Haas finished sixth in his career with teammate Mick Schumacher. Alpine’s Esteban Oaken is seventh and Mercedes’ George Russell is eighth.
“It’s something I can create and grow from. I always liked racing in wet conditions. On such a track, there is great potential for drivers to show what they can do, “said Schumacher, who has yet to make a point.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo is ninth for Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo and Chinese rookie Zhou Guanyu is 10th.
The second round qualifier was stopped when Perez went straight to the TechPro barrier between three and four and could not reverse.
The car had to be craned and the barriers repaired before the session could resume.
Perez qualified one place ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris who failed to set a time in the second round after reporting a problem with the power unit that the team could not fix.
Alex Albon of Williams also went into the fray six years ago but was able to continue, returning to the pit for a new front wing and finally qualifying for 12th.
Aston Martin’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Canadian Lance Stroll failed to advance with rain and spray in the opening episode after raising hopes of final practice.
Nicholas Latifi has had a rough time for Canadian drivers in 19th place, although a slot will rise after Williams driver Leclerc’s resignation.
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