Max powered to the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, missing out on pole position by 0.173s as Sebastian Vettel claimed top spot in qualifying ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. Meanwhile, Daniel will start from sixth position.
Q1 began with a bang as Romain Grosjean exited the opening qualifying session before he’d even taken to the track. The Haas driver pulled out of his garage but when he applied the power to head towards the pit exit, a huge plume of smoke erupted from the rear of his car and he was immediately told to stop.
There was early trouble too for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson. The Swede clipped the wall hard on the exit of Turn 9 and while he managed to keep going, he had sustained damage and quickly sank to the bottom of the order as the session developed.
The Bulls had no such woes. Max comfortably qualified for Q2 in P5 with a time of 1:12.008, while Daniel eased through in P6 with a lap of 1:12.459.
Ahead of the final runs Fernando Alonso found himself in the drop zone in P16 but the McLaren driver found more pace on his final run and jumped to P14 ahead of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
That meant that Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was eliminated in P16 ahead of Williams’ Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, with Ericsson in P19. Gasly's chances of progress were dented by having to revert to an older spec Honda engine ahead of the session after a problem was detected on his upgrade power unit in final practice. Team-mate Brendon Hartley went through to Q2 in eighth place.
At the start of Q2 both Mercedes and Ferrari sent its drivers out on ultrasoft tyres and Bottas set the initial pace with a time of 1:11.514 that left him ahead of Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen.
Max and Daniel, though, opted for hypersofts and Max quickly jumped to the top of the order with a time of 1:11.472. Daniel’s first run was a 1:11.835, which left him in P6, and it looked like the Australian was finding it hard to establish a rhythm.
That changed in the final runs, however. The Australian seemed to find a sweet spot and in the final moments he jumped to the top of the timesheet with a lap 1:11.434.
Elsewhere, though Mercedes and Ferrari moved to hypersoft tyres for their second runs, all set the quickest times on ultrasofts and so will start on those tyres.
Eliminated at this stage were Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who finished in P11 ahead of Hartley, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc and the McLarens of Alonso and Vandoorne.
The first runs of Q3 saw Vettel stake a claim to pole position withy an opening time of 1:10.776. That left him eight hundredths of a second ahead of Bottas with Raikkonen third on a time of 1:11.095.
Max then joined the party, just 0.001 behind Raikkonen in fourth place. Daniel, meanwhile took sixth place behind Hamilton.
In the final runs, Räikkönen was the first to crack, the Finn running wide in the first sector to wreck his chance of pole. Hamilton then had a small lock-up at the hairpin and thus removed himself from the battle for pole. When Bottas failed to improve Vettel’s pole was secure.
Max did his best to disrupt the order when he set the quickest sector one time of the session, but while the Dutchman was ahead of Vettel at that point he couldn’t quite sustain the charge and finished with a best time of 1:10.937, 0.173s behind Vettel. Crucially, though, he was ahead of both Hamilton and Raikkonen.
After topping Q2 Daniel couldn’t quite match his team-mate’s pace in the final segment and he was forced to settle for sixth place. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon, the second Renault of Carlos Sainz and the second Force India of Sergio Pérez.
This is Max’s best qualifying result in Canada. He started 19th on his Canada debut, with Toro Rosso in 2015 and for us started the last two Montreal races in P5.
Daniel will start sixth. He’s started this race seven times to date and on each occasion he has started sixth he’s finished on the podium. He won in 2014 and was third last year.
Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying Top 10:
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Valtteri Bottas
3. MAX VERSTAPPEN
4. Lewis Hamilton
5. Kimi Raikkonen
6. DANIEL RICCIARDO
7. Nico Hulkenberg
8. Esteban Ocon
9. Carlos Sainz
10. Sergio Perez