Sebastian Vettel took his first pole position of 2019, beating Lewis Hamilton by just two-tenths of a second with a time of 1:10.240 in an exciting qualifying for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix in the seventh round of this year’s FIA Formula One Championship. It is Vettel’s 56th career pole and his fifth here in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc claimed third place on the grid and will be alongside Daniel Ricciardo who was fourth quickest in his Renault, which is the team’s best starting position of the year so far.
Pierre Gasly secured fifth in his Red Bull lining up alongside the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in sixth, following a spin which put him further back on the grid than ordinarily expected. Nico Hulkenberg is in seventh in the second Renault, whilst Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz line up in eighth and ninth respectively, just ahead of tenth placed driver Kevin Magnussen in his Haas.
Lewis Hamilton commented that: “I think we gave it everything today, so I’m not disappointed. The timing was right, our procedures were good, and I did everything I could. Overall, I’m happy with the job we’ve done, and it leaves us in a good position for the race. We had P1 for a short moment, but Ferrari were just quicker. Particularly in the last sector – they were four, five tenths faster on the straight. But we knew they were going to be quick and that’s good, it’s what racing should be. I’m glad I’ve been able to split the Ferraris today and tomorrow is going to be an interesting race. Hopefully we can put on a good show tomorrow.”
Toto Wolff said afterwards: “Credit to Ferrari, they had the fastest car today and were very strong on the straights. Sebastian put in a stunning lap and deserves to be on pole. I think we gave them a good fight, Lewis was very quick and had two purple sectors, but he lost a bit of time in the hairpin, so it wasn’t quite enough. Valtteri suffered a spin on his first Q3 lap and didn’t have the smoothest run on his last attempt, but it’s still all to play for tomorrow. We knew Ferrari would be strong here and it’s going to be a close fight in the race. We’re starting on the Mediums, like the cars around us, and our long runs look positive. We’ll give it everything we’ve got tomorrow and see what happens.”
Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix was going well for the Haas team, with both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen looking strong in Q2. But right at the end of the session, Magnussen, having set the tenth-fastest lap time of 1:11.786, whilst exiting turn 13-14 chicane onto the front straight, hit the right hand side wall and spun across the track hitting the left hand side wall hard, putting an end to his day but meant he qualified in tenth overall. Grosjean had to abort his final quick lap and therefore was unable to make it into Q3, qualifying 15th for tomorrow’s race.
Magnussen said afterwards: “I just hit the wall – broke the rear suspension, then it shot me over to the pit wall in a big crash. We were fast, we made it to Q3, and I was improving. I was just trying to push everything, as I knew it was going to be tight. I went on the power a little too early, and everything followed from there. I’m very sorry for the team. They have a big job to do now. We’ll probably start from the pit lane tomorrow, but they deserve better.”
The Canadian Grand Prix starts tomorrow at 14:10 local time.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office and Haas F1 Team