Max Verstappen Claims Pole For 2022 Canadian Grand Prix After Wet Qualifying

(Image credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen overcame a wet qualifying to claim pole position for 2022 Canadian Grand Prix.

In contrast to Friday Practice which Verstappen dominated, all ten teams were greeted with wet conditions which threw up an unexpected top three in FP3, yet when it came to Qualifying it was Verstappen who blitzed the field to claim pole position.

Fernando Alonso qualified a shock second as he continued his strong pace on F1’s return to Canada after a three-year absence due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which saw the 2020 & 21 visits to Montreal cancelled owing to travel restrictions.

Now, here is a full roundup of FP3 and Qualifying which featured plenty of drama and a red flag.

 

FP3

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In contrast to Friday Practice, teams were greeted with wet conditions which necessitated running of wet tyres as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was first out on track, with the Dane setting the early benchmark time of 1m 43.014 as several drivers struggled for tyre temperature.

Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to better Magnussen’s benchmark lap as he posted 1m 39.041 in the 15th minute to go top, only to be displaced by AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda three minutes later by 0.032 seconds.

Sainz who bailed out of an earlier run then went fastest in the 25th minute with 1m 36.831 before lowering his best lap time by 0.973s just two minutes later, as he headed Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll at the half-hour mark.

Vettel meanwhile acclimatised himself well to the wet conditions as he went fastest in the 40th minute with 1m 35.821, whilst Sainz and Alonso were amongst the first to jump to intermediate tyres.

Sainz struggled for session-topping pace on the faster tyre compound unlike Alonso who went top on his second flier with 1m 34.836 in the 46th minute, only to then lower his benchmark effort by 0.607s two minutes later.

Vettel who had switched to intermediates after previously going top however found more pace to go top with 1m 33.891, yet Alonso hit back two minutes later with a session-topping 1m 33.836 to go fastest.

Pierre Gasly left it until his final lap of the session to finish second ahead of Vettel as the top three were split by 0.055s, whilst Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, George Russell. Sergio Perez, Verstappen, Sainz, Bottas and Guanyu Zhou rounded out the top 12.

Russell however was the only driver in the top 12 to set his fastest lap on the full wet tyres with everyone else except on intermediate tyres, whilst six of the seven slowest drivers to set a lap time did their fastest laps on the wet tyres.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc didn’t set a lap time due a mixture of track conditions and focus on preparations for a dry race tomorrow, where he will be starting at the back alongside Tsunoda after taking a new power unit.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1m 33.836
2 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.053
3 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 0.055
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 0.167
5 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 0.274
6 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.412
7 George Russell Mercedes + 0.423
8 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.662
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.780
10 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.942
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo + 1.180
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo + 1.377
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.695
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.807
15 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 1.856
16 Alex Albon Williams + 1.925
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 2.425
18 Mick Schumacher Haas + 3.552
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 4.558
20 Charles Leclerc Ferrari No Time Set

 

Qualifying

Q1

Bottas and Zhou led the entire field out onto the track with everyone opting for full wet tyres as Russell set the initial pace with 1m 36.688, only for Verstappen to go top with 1m 35.830 on his second flier.

Bottas, Sainz, Leclerc, Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon all found themselves in the elimination zone at the end of the first flying laps, with only Latifi remaining in the bottom five with five minutes left as he was joined by; Perez, Tsunoda, Vettel and Lance Stroll.

Come the checkered flag, only Perez survived at the expense of Gasly who was eliminated in 16th place ahead of Vettel, Stroll, Latifi and Tsunoda.

Verstappen meanwhile topped the session with 1m 32.219 as times continued to fall with no further rainfall, whilst Sainz ran deep down the escape road at Turn 3 but re-joined safely.

 

Q2

Bottas again led a queue of cars out onto the circuit as some cars took an early gamble on intermediate tyres, whilst others opted to stick with the wet tyres for their opening Q2 runs.

Alonso who was amongst those to gamble on intermediates went fastest with 1m 30.910 in the fifth minute but the yellow flags were soon out as Albon crashed at Turn Six in the sixth minute but reversed and re-joined safely.

Perez moments later lost grip on his intermediate tyres into Turn 3 and was unable to find reverse gear, which brought out the red flag with nine minutes and six seconds left on the clock as the following drivers sat in the knockout zone; Zhou, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Norris and Leclerc.

The session resumed 12 minutes later with everyone else heading back out on the intermediate tyres.

At the checkered flag, Bottas and Albon were eliminated in 11th and 12th following a flurry of final flying laps, with Perez set to start from 13th on the grid after Norris and Leclerc both failed to set lap times.

Norris encountered power unit issues during his opening run which failed to resolve itself despite repair during the red flag, which led him to abandon his final lap whilst Leclerc didn’t even run at all due to starting the race from the back of the grid.

Verstappen topped Q2 with 1m 23.746 ahead of Alonso by 1.102s with Russell, Sainz and Lewis Hamilton rounding out the session’s top five drivers.

 

Q3

Russell and Hamilton were first out on track as everyone quickly filed out of the pit lane to try and secure an early banker lap time, with Hamilton proceeding to overtake his teammate to get a clean track for his flier.

Once the opening fliers were completed, Verstappen looked set for provisional pole position ahead of Sainz and Alonso, with that to three order staying the same after their second fliers despite Mick Schumacher briefly going second for Haas.

The top ten order upon completion of the opening Q3 runs was as follows; Verstappen, Sainz, Alonso, Schumacher, Russell, Hamilton, Magnussen, Zhou, Ocon and Ricciardo, as Russell gambled on soft tyres for his final run.

Russell’s gamble however failed to pay off as he lost grip in his rear tyres into Turn 2 and slid into the barriers but continued on his way.

Once the checkered flag fell, Verstappen clinched his 15th pole position and first in Canada with 1m 21.299 ahead of Alonso who pipped Sainz to second on the grid with Hamilton qualified in fourth.

Haas achieved a third-row lockout as Magnussen qualified fifth ahead of Schumacher with Ocon, Russell, Ricciardo and Zhou rounding out the top ten.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m 21.299
2 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 0.645
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.797
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 1.592
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 1.661
6 Mick Schumacher Haas + 2.057
7 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 2.230
8 George Russell Mercedes + 2.258
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 2.450
10 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo + 2.731
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1m 26.788
12 Alex Albon Williams + 0.070
13 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 6.339
14 Lando Norris McLaren No Time Set
15 Charles Leclerc Ferrari No Time Set
16 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1m 34.492
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 0.020
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.040
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 1.168
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 2.083

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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