After an absence that even lasted from the GP of Emilia Romagna, when he managed to go on pole on Friday and then confirm himself in first position on the starting grid even at the end of the Sprint Qualifying, Max Verstappen managed to establish himself in the qualifying session of the Canadian GP.
Thanks to the absence of Charles Leclerc, with the Monegasque who, aware of the penalty on the grid, only lapped in Q1 and then exited the cockpit of his F1-75 once he was sure to sprint in front of Yuki Tsunoda in the race, Max managed to shine in decidedly complicated conditions.
If at the end of FP3 the Red Bull RB18 did not shine, the situation was reversed in qualifying. In Q1, with a track made treacherous by the large amount of rain, the world champion managed to put his autograph at the top of the timesheet with a margin of only 58 thousandths over Fernando Alonso.
Also in Q2, this time with less water on the asphalt, Max was able to precede the Spaniard with a lap of applause. 1’23 ” 746 was the time set by the Dutchman who preceded the two-time world champion with a margin of just over one second.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Verstappen’s well-known driving qualities in the wet came out strongly in Q3. Even with intermediate tires, the Red Bull driver managed to make the difference to pass under the checkered flag and stop the clock at the reference of 1’21 ” 299, 6 tenths faster than an unexpected Fernando Alonso protagonist of the session.
Max was the only ray of sunshine at Red Bull. The Dutchman, in fact, extracted the maximum potential from his car unlike Sergio Perez who was the protagonist of a contact against the wall in the middle of Q2 which forced him to leave the session early.
For Verstappen, pole seems to be the starter for a foregone victory that would allow him to further increase his lead in the standings over both Perez and Leclerc, but the world champion preached caution.
“I don’t expect it to be a linear race, but today, despite these weather conditions, we kept calm and made the right decisions. I’m always happy to go to pole, especially here in Canada after an absence of two years ”.
At the end of the session Verstappen also spent words of praise for the Montreal track, receiving an ovation from the home crowd.
“This is a track that resembles a kart track, it reminds you of those sensations with its high curbs. It’s always fun to drive here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow ”.