In treacherous conditions for qualifying at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, it was Max Verstappen who held the lead to claim his first pole position of 2022 since Imola, with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso set to join him on the front row after a impressive career of the Spanish. .
Running on intermediate tires on the drying Gilles Villeneuve circuit, Verstappen set a time of 1m21.299s, leaving him 0.645s behind the pack, led by Alonso, who will make his first front-row start since taking pole in Germany 10 years ago. behind.
Completing the top three was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, whose teammate Charles Leclerc is set to start P19 after taking on new power unit elements. Lewis Hamilton showed his wet weather prowess to take P4, ahead of an excellent showing from Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, sharing the third row in P5 and P6.
red bull racing
Haas F1 Team
Esteban Ocon claimed P7 ahead of the second Mercedes of George Russell, an attempt to set up a lap on slicks in the closing stages which failed for the Englishman as he spun at Turn 2, with Daniel Ricciardo passing Zhou Guanyu. The Chinese driver was making his first appearance in Q3, but will be investigated after the session for an infringement at Turn 14.
Valtteri Bottas was 11th, ahead of Alex Albon’s Williams, then Sergio Perez, who crashed his Red Bull outside of Q2, causing red flags, ahead of Lando Norris, the Brit experiencing a power unit problem.
Leclerc was P15 but will step back with his penalty, promoting Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, who all dropped out in Q1.
Yuki Tsunoda will take up the back of the field, having also received engine penalties for power unit changes.
More to follow…
Qualifying Highlights: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix
AS A STEP
Q1 – FP3 stars Vettel and Gasly fail to get through as both Canadians drop out
Race Control made no bones about the weather conditions ahead of qualifying, confirming that the risk of rain was 100%, with all riders making it through the opening segment on the extreme wet tyres. “The plan is to get an early dash time at the risk of red and yellow flags,” Pete Bonnington, the Hamilton engineer, radioed to his driver. “I can’t see much in front of me,” replied Hamilton.
The conditions were certainly tough, but the 20 drivers set out for laps around the Gilles Villeneuve circuit, with Max Verstappen in the lead with a 1m32.219s, ahead of Alonso’s Alpine, driving very well in the wet, having led FP3 under similar conditions.
Q1 would see some great scalping, with Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel failing in the conditions and retiring; the pair had been P2 and P3 in FP3, Vettel audibly frustrated over the team radio.
There was also disappointment for the home crowd, as the two Montreal-born racers Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi started in Q1, along with the second AlphaTauri engine, Yuki Tsunoda, who took a penalty and took P20. Charles Leclerc, who will also start at the top of the grid after taking a number of new power unit items, advanced to Q2 in P5, while Alex Albon also impressed by making his first appearance in Q2 and the of Williams from Bahrain.
Eliminated: Gasly, Vettel, Stroll, Latifi, Tsunoda
Q2: Verstappen leads Alonso again as Perez’s hit raises red flags
A handful of drivers swallowed their plucky pills and headed into Q2 in the green-walled intermediates, with Hamilton, starting in the wet, saying conditions were “definitely in the crossover, very close”.
Albon and Perez may have disagreed, the riders in intermediate shoes hit the wall at Turns 6 and 3 respectively early in the segment, both drivers going out of aquaplaning and crashing into the barriers.
Albon’s impact seemed innocuous enough, causing little visible damage, though Williams changed his front wing, but Perez damaged his own front wing and couldn’t find reverse gear on his RB18, getting him stuck in the TECPROs and raising a red flag.
The Mexican was forced to get out of the car and walk across the park back to the paddock, his qualifying ending on a day Red Bull would have loved to press their advantage over Leclerc, who was awarded a penalty on the grid.
Canadian GP Qualifying 2022: Pérez brings out the red flags after hitting the barrier in Q2
Despite pummeling from Albon and Perez, all the remaining riders headed towards the intermissions for the remaining nine minutes, except for Leclerc, happy to park him due to his penalties, and Norris, who reported a power unit misfire. in his McLaren, the Briton headed out with three minutes to go before retiring to the pits, his problem clearly not resolved.
With the improved track, times dropped, but the top two finished the same as in Q1, Verstappen leading Alonso again with 1m23.746s. Joining Perez, Norris and Leclerc in the drop zone were Bottas and Albon, the Thai driver with his best qualifying of the season but not enough to give Williams the first Q3 of the year.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu notched its first Q3 appearance in P7, as Mick Schumacher also impressed with his second top-10 appearance, along with his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Those Haases, Mercedes and Alpines were the only three teams with both cars in Q3.
Eliminated: Bottas, Albon, Perez, Norris, Leclerc
Q3 – Verstappen and Alonso 1-2 once again as the Dutchman takes pole
With the conditions as they were, you wouldn’t have bet against anyone taking pole position at the dreich in Montreal on Saturday.
The opening gambit saw Verstappen leading Sainz and Alonso, Schumacher doing well to move up to P4. But the track changed minute by minute, corner by corner, and the times kept improving.
Was it dry enough for stains? George Russell thought it was worth a punt, but he cut off at Turn 2, spinning onto the grass in a move that would leave him P8. nothing risky…
However, Verstappen was flying and posted a time of 1m21.299s on his final lap to take 15th pole position of his career. But it was Alonso who was entertaining the crowd, the two-time champion slipping past the Wall of Champions in his final effort to claim P2 – Alonso surprisingly was the fastest Spaniard as he overtook his protégé Carlos Sainz, who held the third place.
Hamilton claimed his first top-four start of the year, ahead of the delighted boys from Haas, Magnussen and Schumacher, while Ocon, Russell, Ricciardo and Zhou rounded out the top 10 after a memorable qualifying in Canada.
2022 Canadian GP Qualifying: Russell’s risky move onto slicks ends in a spin
the key quote
“Of course, I still hope it will not be an easy race,” Verstappen said after securing pole position in what will be his 150th Grand Prix. “But I think today, with the difficult conditions, we kept calm, made no mistakes and we made the right decisions in Q3, of course, very happy about getting pole position here. Also, to be back here in Montreal, it’s been a while and it’s great to see all the fans.
“You really get the karting feel back with really proper curbs around here, so we always enjoy driving here and look forward to tomorrow.”
The 2022 Canadian Grand Prix starts at 14:00 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Will it be the sixth consecutive win for a Red Bull this season? Or can Alonso use his experience to get himself into the hunt for his first win since Spain 2013?