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Russell dominated qualifying for the Canadian GP by the narrowest possible margin! Ferrari crashes out in Montreal, Pérez has another embarrassment

At the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, spectators could watch a historic moment when the +0.000 loss was lit next to Verstappen’s name. The Dutchman was unable to beat George Russell’s time, for whom the qualifying win marked the second pole position of his career.



It is not so unusual that two pilots set the same time in qualifying. However, a zero difference between 1st and 2nd place has only been recorded once in F1 history, when three drivers set the same time of 1:21.072 in qualifying for the 1997 European GP. At the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, spectators were thus treated to a historic moment as the +0.000 gap shone next to Verstappen’s name. The Dutchman was unable to beat George Russell’s time, for whom the qualifying win marked the second pole position of his career.

Teams entered qualifying with minimal information after rain-affected Friday practice sessions. The risk of rain was also reported for qualifying itself, setting up for some surprising results on the wet Montreal track.

The extent to which Sergio Pérez’s woes are a surprise could be debated. The Mexican driver, who extended his contract with Red Bull until the end of the 2026 season ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, failed to qualify from the first part of the qualifying session for the second year in a row.

Both Kick Sauber drivers were again in the bottom five at the end of Q1. Zhou Kuan-yu lost 9 tenths of a second to teammate Valtteri Bottas and will be the last driver to start. The Finn will line up 17th.

Ferrari falters for the first time this season

After a fantastic weekend of double podium finishes in Monaco, a nightmare came for Ferrari. Neither of the red monoblocs pushed their way into the top 10. Charles Leclerc, who had already announced his car’s poor performance in the last practice session, was greatly frustrated after dropping out of Q2.

He can be more than satisfied with the VCARB qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo lost less than 2 tenths on pole position to take 5th place. Júki Cunoda will start eighth.

For the first time in his career, Lance Stroll tried Q3 on home soil. The Canadian has fared better than his teammate Alonso this season than in previous years, but he was no match for the Spanish veteran today. Alonso will line up his Aston Martin on the third row alongside Ricciardo, while Stroll will be kept company by Alex Albon on the fifth row.

McLaren continues its excellent performance, having had a representative on the podium in each of the last four races. Lando Norris confirmed his role as the team’s leading driver today, taking third place. But Oscar Piastri was not far behind Norris. With a time less than a tenth slower, he finished fourth fastest.

Mercedes returns to the lead

Mercedes arrived at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit as a replacement. In the last qualifying session, George Russell set the pace and his first time of 1:12 flat was the bar for the others to clear.

An unlikely event then occurred when an identical time of 1:12 was set by Max Verstappen. In this situation, which driver posted his time first was the deciding factor, so pole position remained in the hands of George Russell. The Briton thus returns to the front of the grid for the first time since the 2022 VC São Paulo.

Verstappen failed to reach pole position for only the second time this season. But after a dominant start to the season, Red Bull has lost out significantly compared to the rest of the field. Even with Pérez’s poor form, the Austrian team’s lead in the Constructors’ Cup continues to shrink. The Canadian Grand Prix could be another opportunity for the rest of the field, especially McLaren, to close in on the top spot.

Source: F1 TV, X