Verstappen Secures Pole Position in Rain-Hit F1 Canadian Grand Prix, Penalty Looms for Hulkenberg

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Despite the emergence of a drying line at the beginning of Q2, which suggested an opportunity for drivers to risk using soft tyres, the weather conditions deteriorated dramatically as qualifying reached its climax and rain intensified.

Verstappen took full advantage of intermediate tyres to clock a 1m27.059s lap in his first go, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso just 0.25s behind the current championship leader.

While the rain persisted, Verstappen was able to find sufficient tyre heat to register a 1m25.858s lap. However, Alonso had surpassed the Dutch racer’s second sector time during his subsequent run.

The session came to an abrupt halt due to a red flag when Oscar Piastri lost control at Turn 7, causing his McLaren to spin into the wall and damage its right-rear end.

Hulkenberg successfully posted a time sufficient for second place just before the red flag, whereas Alonso was unable to complete his lap and was compelled to return to the pits.

Following the restart with seven minutes remaining, ongoing rainfall squashed any hopes of drivers improving their times during the latter half of the session.

In the remaining time, drivers confirmed that the session could only be negotiated using full-wet tyres due to the prevailing conditions.

With no opportunity to attempt surpassing Verstappen, Alonso secured the third-fastest time and will share the second row with Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.

George Russell and Esteban Ocon earned the third-row spots, followed by Lando Norris in seventh.

Carlos Sainz, in eighth, may face penalties for obstructing Pierre Gasly during Q1, a session during which the #55 Ferrari consistently frustrated other drivers.

Piastri’s pre-crash timing placed him ninth, while Alex Albon’s Q3 time was disqualified for violating track limits.

Alex Albon, the first to gamble with soft tyres during Q2, was rewarded as he accrued enough tyre heat. Although his initial time was bested by Alonso, Albon posted a 1m18.725s, ensuring his Q3 entry.

However, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc abandoned their softs without posting a competitive time. The resurgence of rain meant that Perez had to revert to intermediate tyres, which led to his and Leclerc’s elimination from the session.

Local favourite Lance Stroll managed to recover from a dramatic spin at Turn 5 but his time was only sufficient for 13th place.

Q1 was interrupted after just three minutes when Zhou Guanyu experienced drive failure. Despite this setback, the drying track conditions necessitated drivers to continually improve, resulting in a fierce midfield competition.

However, both Yuki Tsunoda and Gasly were obstructed by Sainz, and neither could advance to Q2. Gasly vented his frustration over the radio, suggesting the Ferrari driver should be “banned”.

Nyck de Vries, unable to improve his final lap, placed 18th. Meanwhile, Logan Sargeant and Zhou, who was able to return to the circuit despite his earlier problems, make up the final grid row.

The final classification saw Max Verstappen clinch the pole with a 1’25.858 timing, followed by Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Canadian GP Qualifying

Who took the pole position in the F1 Canadian Grand Prix?

Max Verstappen clinched the pole position in the wet qualifying of the F1 Canadian Grand Prix.

Who could potentially face penalties?

Carlos Sainz could face penalties for impeding Pierre Gasly during Q1. Nico Hulkenberg might also face penalties.

Which driver had a crash during the session?

Oscar Piastri crashed during the session, losing control at Turn 7 and damaging his McLaren.

Who were the top three drivers in the F1 Canadian GP qualifying?

The top three drivers were Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, and Fernando Alonso.

Which driver was first to use the soft tyres during Q2?

Alex Albon was the first driver to use the soft tyres during Q2.

More about Canadian GP Qualifying

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JensonLuvr91 June 18, 2023 - 6:28 am

rain really mixing things up this time isn’t it? super exiciting stuff cant wait for race day!

SainzSupporter June 18, 2023 - 7:59 am

come on, Sainz didn’t mean to impede Gasly, hope the stewards dont penalize him, would be harsh!

F1Fanatic June 18, 2023 - 10:15 am

wow verstappen doing great even in the rain…hope he keeps this form… go redbull!

Alonso4Ever June 18, 2023 - 2:42 pm

So close for Alonso! Hes still got it, proving age is just a number.

PitLaneGossip June 18, 2023 - 4:12 pm

oh Piastri, too much throttle! Its ok, rookie mistake, he’ll learn. just glad he’s okay

SpeedsterMike June 18, 2023 - 4:53 pm

Feel bad for Alonso, was so close! hope the race day’s dry and he can really push it!

HulkHype June 18, 2023 - 6:17 pm

Hulkenberg in second?? that’s a shocker! Hope he doesn’t get penalized though, fingers crossed!


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