Wet and windy conditions greeted the drivers for qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix, after Fernando Alonso set the quickest time in a damp FP3.
The first time of the opening segment was posted by Bottas on a 1:38.932.
Russell in his Mercedes was the first driver to get into the 1:36s as he led Alonso, Verstappen, Vettel and Ocon.
Verstappen and Ocon went into the 1:35s to go 1st and 2nd. Alonso was on a mighty lap before backing off in sector three.
Once again, Russell showed great speed and logged a 1:34.989 to go a full 0.8s ahead of Sainz and Verstappen. Kevin Magnussen put in a storming lap to go briefly P1 with a 1:34.893, before it was beaten by Bottas.
Verstappen and Russell then dropped their times into the 1:33s as the Dutchman took top spot by 0.7s. Alonso narrowly beat the World Champion to take P1.
As the cars continued to run, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was the first driver to get into the 1:32s as he pumped in a 1:32.781. Alonso, Russell, Verstappen and Hamilton completed the top 5 with four minutes left.
Albon, Tsunoda, Vettel, Stroll and Latifi found themselves in the bottom five at that point.
Eventually Sainz was joined in the 1:32s as Verstappen banged in a 1:32.219 to put half a second on the field. Alonso filled that gap by the end of the session to finish the session P2.
It was a big struggle for Sergio Perez as he could only manage P13, almost 2s off his teammate. Alex Albon shone once again as he got through in 14th.
The big shock of the session was the lack of pace from Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel. After finishing P2 and P3 in FP3, they both got knocked out in Q1 as they finished 16th and 17th. Stroll, Latifi and Tsunoda joined them in the relegation zone.
Magnussen in P4, Guanyu in 10th and Schumacher one place behind the Chinese driver impressed as they easily made it through.
At the start of Q2, it was mix of inters and wets as the track started to get a bit drier.
Alonso on inters pumped in a 1:30.910, half a second in front of Verstappen on wets. Sainz and Ocon went P3 and P4 on inters, with Bottas, Russell and Hamilton coming next on wets. Perez, Albon and Schumacher completed the top 10 after the first laps.
After a relatively quiet first session in terms of flags, Alex Albon and Sergio Perez crashed in quick succession.
Albon went straight and hit the barriers at turn 6 on inters as the car wouldn’t turn. Luckily for the Thai, he could reserve it out and get back to the pits.
Unfortunately for Perez, he wasn’t so lucky. He went straight at turn 3 as his fronts completely locked up like Albon and hit the barriers. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t reverse the car out and his session was over.
After the red flag for Perez’s crash, everyone was on inters when the session resumed.
The times tumbled immediately as Verstappen logged in a 1:27.764, followed by Alonso, Sainz, Russell and Magnussen.
Sainz took top spot as he hits the 1:26s, but was beaten seconds later by Verstappen by 0.3s. A 1:26.270 was the World Champion’s time.
Schumacher, Bottas, Perez, Norris and Leclerc was the bottom five with two minutes left.
The German in the Haas flew towards the end of the session and moved up to P6. Rookie Zhou Guanyu also did a cracking lap to finish a place behind to get an Alfa into Q3.
Bottas looked set to squeeze through until a lap at the death from Ocon saw the Frenchman get through and knock the Finn out.
Verstappen 1:23.746 saw him finish Q2 over a second ahead of the rest. Alonso, Russell, Sainz, Hamilton, Schumacher, Zhou, Ocon, Magnussen and Ricciardo also made it through to Q3 in that order.
Bottas, Albon, Perez (crash), Norris (power unit problem) and Leclerc (not doing any runs as he starts at the back) dropped out.
Despite the track getting drier and drier, the drivers unsurprisingly went with inters at the start of the session.
Lewis Hamilton posted the first time of Q2 on a 1:24.360. Russell beat that instantly by 0.354s.
The impressive pace of Verstappen continued as a 1:22.701 put him over a second clear of the rest. Sainz and Alonso went 2nd and 3rd. Mick Schumacher then put his Haas P2 on his first attempt.
Sainz and Alonso took their original spots back and got within 0.2s and 0.3s of Verstappen respectively.
Schumacher, Russell, Hamilton, Magnussen, Guanyu, Ocon and Ricciardo rounded out the list ahead of the final runs.
One driver decided to take the risk to pit on dries – it was George Russell. It backfired as he lost the car in turn 2 where the track was very wet and clipped the barrier with his rear wing.
However, one man dominated qualifying as Max Verstappen took a very comfortable pole position with a 1:21.299 in the Red Bull to take P1 by over six tenths.
Fernando Alonso saved his best for last to put his Alpine on the front row of the grid as he continued his strong form from FP3. It’s his first front row start since the 2012 German Grand Prix when he took pole in the wet. Fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz completed the top three.
Hamilton, Magnussen, Schumacher (his best F1 qualifying result), Ocon, Russell, Ricciardo and Guanyu completed the top 10. It promises to be a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix with a mixed up grid.