Canadian GP: George Russell pips Max Verstappen to Montreal pole position in dramatic qualifying | F1 News

George Russell took pole position from Max Verstappen for the Canadian Grand Prix despite the pair setting identical times in a thrilling qualifying.

Russell set his 1:12.000 before Verstappen to take his second career pole in F1 and Mercedes’ first since last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lando Norris was just 0.021s away from pole as he took third from McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, while Lewis Hamilton had to settle for seventh, having shown great speed in final practice.

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Having only just signed a new contract with Red Bull, Sergio Perez failed to make it out of Q1 at the Canadian Grand Prix

It was a dramatic qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as both Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were knocked out in Q2 and Sergio Perez was eliminated in Q1.

Daniel Ricciardo recorded his best qualifying of the season in fifth, in front of Fernando Alonso and Hamilton.

Yuki Tsunoda, who was confirmed to stay at RB for 2025 earlier on Saturday, took eighth, from home driver Lance Stroll and Williams’ Alex Albon.

Canadian GP Qualifying: Top 10

1) George Russell, Mercedes

2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

3) Lando Norris, McLaren

4) Oscar Piastri, McLaren

5) Daniel Ricciardo, RB

6) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

7) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

8) Yuki Tsunoda, RB

9) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

10) Alex Albon, Williams

Russell shines as Verstappen rescues Red Bull

It’s just the second time since F1 went to three decimal place timing that two drivers have set the same time for pole position.

Mercedes looked quick throughout Saturday but it was Hamilton who looked the stronger driver ahead of qualifying, only for Russell to continue his dominance over his team-mate when it matters most in Q3.

Russell, who got a big slipstream from Albon, set his best lap time in Q3 on used tyres. Verstappen did everything to beat it with fresh rubber but missed out by the closest of margins.

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Having set identical times, Mercedes’ George Russell pipped Max Verstappen to pole position in Canada having completed his lap first

Verstappen was close to elimination in Q2 when light rain made it difficult to generate tyre temperature. However, the rain wasn’t enough to wet the track and Verstappen hooked up the car to secure a front-row spot.

Hamilton was second before the final Q3 runs but was pushed down by Verstappen, then both McLarens of Norris and Piastri, plus Ricciardo.

The RB driver’s future has come under scrutiny this week but he has responded in the perfect manner with fifth place.

Shock eliminations for Ferrari and Perez

Ferrari came into the weekend as slight favourites as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve characteristics were expected to suit their car.

But, the rainy practice and drying conditions didn’t play to their strengths, so Leclerc and Sainz were both bumped out in Q2 in 11th and 12th.

Both drivers complained about a lack of grip, perhaps due to the light rain which fell during the second part of qualifying.

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Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were both despondent after being eliminated in Q2

Earlier on, Red Bull’s Perez was knocked out in Q1 in an equally surprising elimination.

The Mexican, who signed a new two-year deal to stay with Red Bull until the end of 2026, also struggled with grip and was visibly sliding the car in the slow corners as he missed out on Q2 by less than half a tenth.

Sky Sports F1’s live Canadian GP schedule

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A look back at some of the most dramatic moments from the Canadian Grand Prix

Sunday June 9
5.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Canadian GP build-up
9pm: Chequered Flag – Canadian GP reaction
10pm: Ted’s Notebook

Formula 1 is on Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix and you can watch every session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 7pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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