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F1 Canadian GP Qualyfing Result: Verstappen Scores Another Pole in the Wet

Max Verstappen scored his fifth pole of 2023. In the wet, the Dutchman set a 1:25.858 to lead a surprising Nico Hulkenberg by 1.244s.

F1 Canadian GP Qualifying Pole Max Verstappen Red Bull
#1 Max Verstappen (NLD, Oracle Red Bull Racing), F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on June 17, 2023 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by HOCH ZWEI) – Photo by Icon sport

F1 Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying: Who Will be on Pole?

Max Verstappen will line up in pole position for the third consecutive race. For the second year in a row, the Dutchman topped a wet qualifying session in Montreal. Joining him on the front row will be Nico Hulkenberg, who scored a stunning second place for Haas just before a red flag effectively brought Q3 to an end.

Q1: Verstappen on Top, Gasly Out Early

Qualifying got underway on a wet track. Logan Sargeant, Alexander Albon and Valtteri Bottas were the first drivers to set banker laps. Not too long after that, Zhou Guanyu stopped on the side of the track with a mechanical problem, triggering an early red flag. The Chinese driver was able to return later in the session.

Verstappen was the first driver out of pit road when the session resumed. With a clear dry line forming at certain points of the track, times quickly tumbled lap after lap. And as is often the case, there was a frantic dash to the line as drivers desperately tried to get into Q2.

In the end, Pierre Gasly was the odd man out in the first part of qualifying. The Alpine driver, along with Yuki Tsunoda, was impeded by a slow Carlos Sainz into the final chicane, and found himself down in 17th. Joining Gasly were Alpha Tauri pair Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, along with Sargeant and Zhou. Verstappen ended Q1 on top, followed by Alonso and Hamilton.

Q2: Albon on Top, Perez and Leclerc Eliminated

With the dry line continuing to form, Q2 got underway with drivers pondering about a switch to slicks. However, the first run got underway still on intermediates, with Albon being the only driver to venture on a dry set.

Stroll had a huge near miss. The hometown driver spun into turn 7 and clipped the wall with his Aston Martin’s nose, but was lucky to avoid a massive crash.

Albon’s gamble paid off, as the Williams driver had built enough heat into his set of slicks after two stints to go top. Most drivers then chose to make the switch to slicks for the second run, while Russell, Hamilton and Stroll were the only drivers to remain on intermediates.

The rain got heavier and effectively ended the second run. As a result, the order got mixed up, with the early banker laps defining the session. Perez and Leclerc found themselves out in Q2, sitting 11th and 12th respectively. Joining the pair were Stroll, Kevin Magnussen and Bottas. Albon stayed on top, followed by Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Q3: Verstappen Tops Red-Flagged Session, Hulkenberg Shines

The final part of qualifying got underway as rain picked up once again. Oscar Piastri was caught out by the wet track and rear-ended the barrier at turn 7, bringing out a red flag and ending his session early. Verstappen went top, with a flying Nico Hulkenberg sneaking into second just as the red flag flew. It was also a heartbreak for Alonso, who had just gones fastest through the first sectors and was seemingly on pace for provisional pole.

The session resumed with just over seven minutes to go, but conditions had gotten a lot worse by that point. Verstappen immediately returned to the pits, knowing that Q3 was effectively over. The Dutchman secured his third consecutive pole position, with Hulkenberg joining him on the front row. Alonso was third, with Hamilton and Russell rounding out the top 5.

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