News ID: 103846
Publish Date : 19 June 2022 - 21:29

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Red Bull’s Formula One leader Max Verstappen shone in the wet to take pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday as Alpine’s evergreen Fernando Alonso celebrated his first front row slot in a decade.
Verstappen’s main title rivals sunk out of sight, Mexican team mate Sergio Perez crashing and qualifying 13th while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended a run of four poles in a row by dropping to 19th due to engine penalties.
“I still expect it not to be a straightforward race,” said Verstappen after his second pole in nine races.
“But today with the tricky conditions we stayed calm and didn’t make mistakes.”
His qualifying time of one minute 21.299 seconds was 0.645 faster than 40-year-old Alonso’s surprising best.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third fastest on a drying track and seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton fourth for Mercedes on a weekend dominated by talk of bouncing cars and driver safety.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” said Hamilton of his best Saturday showing so far this season.
“On pure pace in the dry we’re still a long way off but to get top four in qualifying in those conditions is awesome.”
Sunday’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be the first in Canada since 2019 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is forecast to take place in sunny and dry conditions.
Verstappen has won four of the last five races, with Red Bull chasing a sixth in a row. He leads team mate Sergio Perez by 21 points, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc a further 13 behind.

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