Max Verstappen on pole for the Canadian Grand Prix, rival Lewis Hamilton starts fourth after an impressive drive

MAX VERSTAPPEN clinched a sensational pole in the wet and will start at the front at the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The World Champion was an incredible 0.645 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso, who surprisingly finished second, while Carlos Sainz qualified third.

Max Verstappen will start the Canadian GP from pole position


Max Verstappen will start the Canadian GP from pole positionPhoto credit: Reuters
Lewis Hamilton impressed in qualifying and will start the race in fourth place


Lewis Hamilton impressed in qualifying and will start the race in fourth placePhoto credit: Getty

Lewis Hamilton, plagued by back problems from his bouncing Mercedes, appeared to have accomplished the unthinkable with a superb first try that was enough for provisional second place.

The seven-time world champion was eventually relegated to fourth but celebrated his wet performance as his best of the season.

Hamilton said: “The past week has been a real challenge and I’m working through the pain every day and fixing my body.

“We’re still struggling with the car so it’s great to finish in the top four in these conditions.

Hamilton starts FOURTH in season-best, Verstappen POLE after qualifying
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“It’s my best qualifying session of the season and it feels similar to my very first qualifying session in Australia in 2007, I was so excited.”

But it was Verstappen who was in a class of his own with a stunning lap time that was simply untouchable.

He said: “In difficult conditions we stayed calm and didn’t make any mistakes, so I’m happy with pole.

“You were really on the limit with the grip, but then it became more comfortable as the track dried and luckily everything worked out in the end.”


Alonso, 40, who has not started on the front row since 2012, said: “It feels great.

“It was an incredible weekend and we were competitive and thanks to the wet conditions the car was mega and I felt so comfortable.

“Red Bull are in a different league and the pole has surpassed our wildest dreams so we’ll take a front row seat.”

When asked if he could fight for the win against Verstappen, he added: “We’ll see. We will attack Max in the first turn.

“The goal is to lead the race at turn one and after that they can go and race.”

George Russell will start in eighth place after his gamble on slick tires backfired.

The Mercedes man rolled the dice and tried to do a fast lap, but was caught by standing water and landed in the barriers.

But it was a strong day for the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, who qualified fifth and sixth, respectively.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was already looking forward to a miserable result after receiving pre-qualifying news that he would be taking a slew of grid penalties that would see him move to the back of the grid.

Leclerc suffered an engine failure in Baku last weekend and Ferrari made the strategic decision to give him new parts, resulting in a series of grid penalties.

Leclerc hasn’t even set a time after entering Q2 and it’s likely he will start in 19th place, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, who also took new engine parts and is last.

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Lando Norris was also unlucky, having suffered an engine failure himself in qualifying, which eliminated him from Q2.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who had won in Monaco just two races before, crashed in the rain when his car crashed into the guardrail.

The Mexican, who had switched to the Intermediate tyres, lost grip and ran straight into the Techpro at turn three.

Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel were both disappointed not to make it out of Q1, while two Canadian drivers, Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll, were also eliminated on the first try. Max Verstappen on pole for the Canadian Grand Prix, rival Lewis Hamilton starts fourth after an impressive drive


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