F1 Winter Break
Ferrari bounce back: Vettel edges Bottas to pole in Canadian F1 GP qualifying
Posted By: Editor   |  09 Jun 2018   |  9:41 pm GMT  |  98 comments

Sebastian Vettel took Ferrari’s first pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since 2001 after edging out Valtteri Bottas in a close-fought qualifying hour in Montreal.

After holding their cards close to their chest – and suffering from a reduced amount of running – throughout free practice, Ferrari came to the fore to topple the expected pace-setters, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Vettel’s lap record of 1:10.764 was enough to take pole by less than one tenth of a second over Bottas, with the Finn marking only the second time Hamilton has been beaten in a Canadian Grand Prix qualifying session by his team-mate.

“Yesterday I think we were a little bit in trouble. I wasn’t really happy with the car, we had some problems and I just couldn’t get a rhythm,” said Vettel.

“But today, I switched on and I guess I woke up in the right way.

“The car was incredible, it just kept getting quicker and quicker. In my final lap I had a small mistake, otherwise I think I had a little bit more.”

Max Verstappen capitalised on untidy laps from Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen to claim third on the grid, as he bids to complete a clean, successful weekend for Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo lines up sixth for tomorrow’s race, but both Red Bulls will be the only ones in the top six to start the race on the hypersoft tyres, with Ferrari and Mercedes choosing to complete Q2 on the ultrasoft tyre.

In a battle for midfield honours between Renault and Force India in Q3, it was Nico Hulkenberg who vanquished.

Qualifying Session One

Romain Grosjean’s qualifying session appeared to be over before it had even begun. As he left his pit box, his Haas VF-18 released a trail of smoke down the pit lane. He was instructed to pull over before leaving the pit lane, and he was wheeled back towards his garage so the team could attempt to resolve the issue, but his qualifying hour was over there and then.

Marcus Ericsson’s qualifying session was also cut short. The Sauber driver tagged the wall on the outside of turn nine and almost collected a Red Bull as he ricocheted off the barrier. His sole effort was only good enough for nineteenth place.

From there, Q1 became a battle to avoid a ‘bottom three’ but, as expected, Williams continued to struggle, with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin finishing seventeenth and eighteenth respectively and over half-a-second away from safety.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was a minor shock from Q1 after being eliminated by half-a-tenth of a second, whilst team-mate Brendon Hartley put in an impressive showing by finishing in eighth.

Qualifying Session Two

Mercedes and Ferrari elected to send both of their cars out to qualify on the ultrasoft tyres, whilst Red Bull continued with the hypersofts.

Despite running on different tyres, the top four were separated by less than one tenth of a second, with Ricciardo narrowly topping Q2 ahead of Verstappen, Bottas and Vettel.

All four of the ultrasoft runners were equipped with hypersofts for their second runs, but all four drivers decided not to complete their laps.

Vettel was looking to improve, but encountered huge levels of traffic at the end of the longest straight before the final chicane. He was blocked by two Renault’s and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

Further back, it was Magnussen, Hartley and Charles Leclerc who narrowly missed out on progressing, whilst McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne finished at the bottom of Q2 in a disappointing day for the Woking team.

Qualifying Session Three

With all teams turning their cars up to full power, Bottas was the first man to dip into the 1:10s, but his lap was narrowly beaten by Vettel, who set the first benchmark of a 1:10.776. He lead from Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Hamilton and Ricciardo.

In his second flying lap, Vettel set a near-identical lap time to marginally extend his lead by 0.012 of a second to underline his pole position, his first since Azerbaijan. Bottas failed to improve but managed to hold on to second place to take an unlikely qualifying scalp against his team-mate. Mistakes from Raikkonen and Hamilton opened the door for one of the Red Bulls to sneak into the top three.

It was Verstappen who took that chance. He dipped into the 1:10s to take a place in the top three, whilst Hamilton set a time good enough for fourth place, despite a lock-up in the final chicane.

Raikkonen’s final lap was blown after he ran wide on the exit of turn two, and Ricciardo was unable to make further inroads on his sixth place.

“It was finished there at that point [turn two]. I got a lot of understeer entering turn two and I had no choice but to get out of it as quickly as I can,” summarised Raikkonen.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg took the ‘best of the rest’ honours, ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon, team-mate Carlos Sainz and the second Force India of Sergio Perez.

By: Luke Murphy

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m10.764s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m10.857s 0.093s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m10.937s 0.173
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.996s 0.232s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m11.095s 0.331s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m11.116s 0.352
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m11.973s 1.209s
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m12.084s 1.320s
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m12.168s 1.404s
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m12.671s 1.907s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m12.606s 1.842s
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m12.635s 1.871s
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m12.661s 1.897s
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m12.856s 2.092s
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m12.865s 2.101s
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m13.047s 2.283s
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m13.590s 2.826s
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m13.643s 2.879s
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m14.593s 3.829s
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari – No time

All images: Motorsport Images

What are your predictions for the Canadian Grand Prix? Leave your comments in the section below.

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RAI doesn’t deserve that Ferrari and I am quite fond of RAI.


Well well, is this the new Max??

Great weekend up to now. Let’s see if he can keep his brain in check for the start of this race. Hopefully it’s gonna be a hum dinga!


Interesting qualifying with a slightly mixed up grid. Great laps from the top 3. Still expecting LH to win, can see SV and MV colliding


Verstappen starting 3rd, with faster first lap tyres, right behind Vettel … what possibly could go wrong?!?!? Possibly 4th the best place on the grid to start from


On several media I heard RB’s choice for hypersofts in Q2 being described as “Red Bull do things differently [compared to the two top teams] and are going for a more aggressive approach”. I think their strategy is actually very conservative, looking backwards to a possible elimination in Q2 on ultras instead of forward, to really playing along with the big boys. Judging by Q2-Q3 times Verstappen – and with a little difficulty Ricciardo – could have qualified on ultras without too much risk. They now have the reverse strategy but unfortunately it’s not symmetric. It’s far better to deploy your hypers in the last stint. Your car’s weight will be much lower and distances between cars will generally be larger, two factors ensuring your speed will be higher, degradation lower and stint longer as compared to using these tyres early on. When you use them in your first stint at the very least you’ve got to have one or both cars on the front row in order to be able to run off. None of this applies so RB have lost this important battle. Probably did not realise how fast they were going to be but I still think it’s disappointing and shows a lack of courage.


If it is true the hypers suit RB better than Ferrari and Merc then there’s the additional argument this advantage will only come to full fruition when you use the tyres optimally, which is once again in a late stint. So they’ve more or less thrown that weapon away too. I guess a podium is still possible but to go for a never conceived win they now have to hope for a safety car at the right time, presumably when their ultras will start wearing off some 15-20 laps from the end.


Maybe RedBull has to stop 1 more time then Ferrari/Mercedes. Then they could be back on the Hypers for the last stint


Max tremendously fast, really impressive for a Red Bull on a power circuit. Ending

FP1/FP2/FP3 1st/1st/1st and Q1/Q2/Q2 5th/1st/3rd. His Q3 time was just 0.17s behind Vettel. Deserving of a pole were it not for Fer/MB’s party mode which saved their a**es in sector 3:

19.4 22.6 28.6 VET 1:10:76

19.4 22.6 28.7 BOT +0.09

19.4 22.6 28.8 VER +0.17


Hard to state but their party mode could be hampered by an engine upgrade issue they experienced this weekend, although something by 0.1 – 0.15 sec (eventually worth of pole).


Well called it in that I knew vettel was gonna get pole. It couldn’t happen any other way based on the circumstances. Well done to bottas though. The silent achiever. Head down and getting it done. Some saying Hamilton buckled under the pressure and this might be true though I think he has dealt with worst before. I think this is just Hamilton being Hamilton where he is inherently inconsistent. One day on it. Next day not. If he could be more consistent like vettel then this championship wouldn’t be in question. Should be a great race though. Max to take out ham first lap. :-). Vettel for the win. Keep an eye on leclerc and Hartley this race.


Great lap from seb and Bottas! Not sure why kimi keeps messing up his q3 runs?

Respect for Max. He’s had so much criticism lately and to respond like this demands respect. I wouldn’t have been able to do this when I was 20!

Btw anyone else heard Carlos’ comment (I’m in the worst possible place) and immediately thought ‘wanna trade?’ 🙂


Valtteri told in an interview yesterday that Mercedes is expecting the hypertyre to be faster than ultras only in the first lap and then the advantage is gone. We’ll see about that. Will probably be very electric first lap where nothing to lose Max is trying to gain positions with grippier tyres.


I believe this time he has something to lose.


I think this nothing to lose is making him crashtappen


This is getting boring… yawn….


We held a meeting and everything…did you miss it? 🙂

Decided it’s Crashappen for correct letter count, good fit to original, two words that mean what he does, like Goldsmith or Shoemaker.


Having opted to watch the replay rather that take a 3.00am/10deg C real time visit, the quali was more or less what i expected however i didn’t pick the reversal within Mercedes!. Vettel did a great job and Bottas is upping his game due to the CRS kicking in. Hamilton was messy and shows that when he’s under real pressure he stumbles. Raikkonen really can’t do much at all and i feel that whilst still blindingly fast at times his best has been seen. Ricciardo never really hooked it up and his time spent in the garage showed up on track however when he did put it all together he drew an ace in Q2. Verstappen did remarkably well and to keep it out of the wall showed that he can do it when he uses his head. If he can complete the race incident free then that will show that he has taken the advice given. He will/should have a podium chance from position three…. if he keeps it clean. Good to see Hartley improve as he’s facing some serious challenges concerning his future and this pressure would weigh heavily on his mind and as for the rest, not too much to say other than Williams are in very deep ‘merde’ and it shows. It just keeps getting worse and despite Claire’s words of ‘ra ra, shoulders to the wheel chaps’ Kubica sees more internal tension growing!!! Not good at all…even the spirit of John Bull would with this lot. Paddy Lowe’s reputation is beginning to look slightly tattered ATM.


@Kenneth, the only thing that buckled is your pathetic attempt at a clapback. Lewis had a small animal wedged into his front brake duct, which adversely affect cooling especially into the hairpin. Source – mark hughes.


When he is under real pressure he stumbles?

How Poles has he got under pressure a truck load. It’s the ups and downs of Q3.

Think you love to get your digs in Kenneth 😂🤣You crack me up. You are like the Scorpian on the back of a Rat getting a lift across a flooded river. You’d still sting the rat as its in your nature. 😂🤣🤣😂 or the head of a bodyless snake. The urge to bite is too much Kenneth😂🤣


Would you want to drive that car if you were Kubica? Or is he relieved he doesn’thave to?


Kubica would drive anything anywhere anytime. How can anybody say he is relieved not to drive the car?


Oooops…. Should read, ‘the spirit of John Bull would STRUGGLE with this lot.


Being pedantic, but Vettel’s pole time might be a track record, it’s not a lap record. A lap record can only be set in the race. Thought that you might know a bit more about motor racing than that!


A lap record is a lap that is the fastest done at all time on a track weather is is in race time, qualy, or at night in pajamas&slippers it is still a lap record IMO.


It’s not James’ writing, sadly.


Tell’em how it is Rob! Fully agreed.


Rest assured that the JAonF1 team, and most everyone here, knows this. You will wake the Sebee on the subject, if you keep on going. 😃

Lap record is an anachronism of the sport. Meant to ensure that any time set wasn’t just a time geared to the fastest one lap time, etc. Yet with parc ferme rules, that is pretty much what a qualifying lap is. It’s set with a car operating to a specific formula, tjat will race in the same configuration the next day. Only difference is it’s done with new tires, and low fuel, and maximum engine modes can be used for the money laps.


Great qualifying, well worth sitting up to the very early hours here in Melbourne.

Excellent effort all weekend by Max, if he keeps his head I think this one may be his for the taking.


Shame Ricciardo wasn’t able to carry that Monaco momentum

Costly mistake from Raikkonen….again. *sigh*

Hamilton surprisingly made errors in what is one of his good circuits.

Verstappen has been on it since FP1. I imagine he lost out on straight line speed.

Bottas was excellent. I thought he would be on pole until Vettel happened.

As for Vettel, great lap to secure P1 sure. However, I find it interesting that during FP1 and FP2, he doesn’t seem as hooked up as Raikkonen. Then FP3 onwards, BAM! he’s instantly one of the favorites for pole and the win. That’s been the case for him for most if not all of the GPs so far.


Ferrari needs to take care of kimi sooner than later, he just looks like a liability.


Great to see the Hamilton bottom lip on full display alongside the Niki and Toto thousand yard stare magnified by the Bottas invisibility cloak 😭😂😭😂


Slightly unrelated question but has anyone had luck with F1’s streaming service? The first few races they streamed seemed to have buffering issues. Just wondering whether or not it would be worth it to purchase for tomorrow’s race. Thanks!


I suppose it was a dud as the previous ones and it will remain so until they will use a p2p system in streaming (which I cannot see compatible with pay TV type streaming, so maybe forever)


Hi Kevin, I signed up when it came out. First qualy and race was a disaster; second race wasn’t much better, though qualy was ok. I got a pro-rated refund for both. If they don’t have their sh*t together for the race today, I’m going to get a full refund and watch by other means (use your imagination 😁)

I don’t watch qualy yesterday, so no indication if it’s better this weekend yet. As a layman it simply seemed to be a lack of bandwidth we were dealing with.


I imagine Honda are having a quiet chuckle among themselves.


@ Clive…Pierre Gasly isn’t laughing……


They’re permitted to chuckle. Not at the expense of Alonso or Renault though. Track specific position. McLaren and Renault and Alonso are still sitting much prettier than Honda.


Exciting qualifying session. How long can Red Bull run on the pink tyres?


James, the british media is being way to soft on Zak Brown and Eric Boullier. Clearly, they have made a catastrophic misjudgement in ditching Honda and its 100 million for a Renault PU that is only marginally better. The bigger problem is the chassis. There management of the team in the last 12 months is worthy of a Harvard business case study on how not to make decisions.


Mclaren are trash. They’ve been trash for a long time now. Boullier should have been fired long ago. As for Brown, he has to shoulder the blame. I wonder if they believe they are still a top team, hence the overwhelming statements before every season followed by the inevitable let down. Time for a reality check. They spend less than the top teams. They have no great organization, certainly not a winning one to depend on. They have one top driver and that is probably the reason they’ve scored points this season. I wonder what Ron Dennis is thinking.


Easy to say now in retrospect.

But divorce nearly always worse than working it out. 🙂


The problem is definitely in the chassis, however aren’t you too quick in saying that the Renault PU is only “marginally” better ?

Red Bull results on this power track were quite impressive.


Big gap to Red Bull using the same engine yesterday – quite noticeable



On this issue, no indication could serve better than RBR’s forthcoming decision on engine supplier for the next year. If the difference is only “marginal” perhaps they’ll vote for Honda..


Yeah, almost 2 seconds between Verstappen en Alonso. That is a huuuuuge difference with the same engine. And the Renault works team way faster than McLaren too.

I agree that the press has been very lenient on McLarne so far. They’re just no top team anymore. Let’s hope they don’t go the same road as Williams and can pull themselves together.

Really wondering what the actual difference in performance is now between Renault and Honda.


With the 40hp engine upgrade this weekend, the Honda engine is slightly faster then the Renault.

More importantly, the concept Honda uses offers more potential.


Well, half of the F1 internet media is controlled by none other than Zak Brown, so the softly-softly approach is hardly a surprise…


which half?


Hmm, I wouldn’t use VER’s Q3 time to compare to Alonso’s Q3 time, just because of track ramp up. It’s still a big gap in Q2 (RIC to ALO), of 1.42 secs.

McLaren is clearly a very draggy car, yet their low-speed cornering is far worse than any of the top three teams. They’ve lost their works deal, just to find out that it was the chassis that was the problem.


Both Magnussen and Grosjean will place higher than they qualified.

We need American Teams Great Again!



Both catchphrases a figment of your imagination, Gene.


Great lap by Seb, Merc is still the faster car, HAM could have had pole but a mistake under pressure cost him big.

Kimi could have been higher up too, hopefully Max can keep it clean into the first corner.


Mercedes is the faster car? I just looked at the stats for all three practice sessions and quali. At what point during the entire weekend has Mercedes been the “faster car”? Looks to me that the evidence does not bare your assertion out.


Bob, obviously what Jimothy meant to say was ‘I want the Merc to be the fastest car so I can stick the boot into Lewis for not winning every race in it’


I choose to stay up for the qualifying afterall and i am glad i did. So it seems that Vettel needed that upgrade to be able to best the Mercedes. It did not give him that much of an advantage though. I mean it could have gone either way, of

Maybe Bottas just pulled a special lap in Q3? Good showing from Max as well, the start of the race should be interesting. Hamilton seemed to keep on making the same mistake and I wonder if he will be able not to start on the Q2 tyres for safety reasons although the last spot did not look that bad. Thumbs up to Leclerc, Hulkenberg, Ocon and Hartley. McLaren showing Is truly dissapionting here, I wonder why. The Williams are hopeless, what are shame. Marc


Oh wait a minute, my mistake. Alonso’s car has a Renault engine… Ha ha. That’s even worse to explain. Oh dear…

Tornillo Amarillo

Is Hamilton really losing focus? Tired of F1 while still Champion?


This has been a bad start to the season for Hamilton (as a qualifier), and were it not for the fact that Bottas is so unreliable/erratic more questions would have been asked.

Hamilton was supreme at Australia and Barcelona, but 2 good races out of 7 is hardly what we expect of him in a Mercedes. You can probably add Baku, as it was vintage Lewis, where even though he struggled with the cars and tyres all weekend, he produced a great lap when it mattered to leapfrog Bottas in Q3.

But he was out-qualified in 3 races by Bottas, and in Monaco while he out-qualified Bottas, he himself said that he had the pace to beat the Ferraris and made a mistake.

Though one must admit how bad it looks is compounded by the fact that Kimi (as compared to Bottas) while faster is even more erratic at Ferrari and it is difficult to gauge Vettel’s season even when it is 6-1 as opposed to Lewis’ 4-3. Kimi had the pace for pole in Baku, could have challenged in Montreal, Monaco.

We should wait for a few more races to see how this plays out.


His body language is a bit strange.


Tornillo, there’s enough hyperbole surrounding Hamilton, without you also going that way. He had an off day, big whoop. Lewis kept on locking up his tires at turn 10 … it had been good on Friday, but was bad on Saturday. Lewis’ late braking style is the reason why he’s traditionally been quick around here, but he couldn’t use that. Let’s see how he gets on from P4. Hopefully Max doesn’t take him out. I think Lewis will approach Max like the back of a horse, but of late even that’s not been enough for Max to avoid situations.


It often seems to be the case that he starts the season slowly and is at his best in the second half. Who knows why ? Is it a good sign that even with the pretty ordinary season he’s had so far, he’s still leading the WC by a handy margin (with an update imminent) and will probably still be this time tomorrow ? When will he finally turn up ? Will he finally turn up ? Answers on a postcard please to head-butt wall ….


He made some mistakes, but that’s the first really bad session he’s had all year. He’s 4-3 in qualifying vs Bottas, same as last year at this point. Far more worrying is Ferrari beating them to pole on power tracks they dominated on for years, although Canada was wafer thin. Merc engine upgrade can’t come soon enough…


Also, funny how a McLaren is behind a Sauber. TR is using the same engine. So, is that Mclaren Chassis too heavy? Has Alonso put on more weight? Was the parking break left on while racing? What is it? Alonso’s driving is at 95% – so THAT must be it. It has to be at 100% or 101% to get that car into Q3.


TR is Honda; McLaren is Renault. Did you mean to say something else?


Only about half a second separates the top six. This could be good 🙂

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