Max qualifies eleventh in Montreal: 'Just bad luck'

Published on 08 June 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen qualified in eleventh position ahead of Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Dutchman was unable to finish his flying lap because of a red flag, meaning the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver missed out on progressing to Q3. Sebastian Vettel took pole position for Ferrari at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc.

“There was a red flag, there’s nothing you can do about that. We tried to progress on the medium, but that tyre didn’t feel great and the traffic didn’t help either. That’s why we switched to the soft tyre. We only had one lap so it’s bad luck when someone hits the wall. I was on a good lap and would’ve been in Q3, no doubt”, explained Max after qualifying.

He added: “P11 is not where we want to be and I’ll have to get through a lot of midfield runners, but at least we can choose the tyre we start the race one. Otherwise, we would’ve had to start on the softs and that’s not great. We’ll see where we are tomorrow. We don’t have the speed of the Ferraris and Mercedes so it will be difficult to take the fight to them but hopefully we’re close.”

At the start of qualifying, it is business as usual with the top three teams progressing comfortably and Williams ending at the bottom of the leaderboards. Robert Kubica and George Russel are joined by the two Racing Points of local hero Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez as well as Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo).

In Q2, Mercedes and Ferrari opt to set a time on the medium Pirellis to ensure they can start the race on that tyre. Max attempts the same but is unable to set a fast enough time to progress to Q3 and is forced to do a flying lap on the red side-walled soft compound. Sadly for Max, Kevin Magnussen crashes at the very end of the session, prompting a red flag. It means Max cannot finish his timed lap and has to return to the pits with only the eleventh fastest time to his name.

Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon (both Scuderia Toro Rosso), Magnussen’s team mate Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi also strand in the second part of qualifying.

In Q3, the battle for pole rages between Ferrari and Mercedes with Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton leading the way. The German ultimately takes P1, his first pole position in 17 Grands Prix. Hamilton has to settle for second.

Whereas Vettel’s team mate, Leclerc, is able to stay close to the front with third place, Hamilton’s Mercedes colleague, Valtteri Bottas, endured a tough Q3. On his first flying lap, the Finn spun on the exit of turn two, narrowly avoiding the barriers. During his second run, Bottas’ appeared to struggle with grip and in the end he had to settle for P6.

The biggest surprise of the final qualifying session was Daniel Ricciardo. The Renault driver qualified in fourth, ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly.

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Results qualifying Canada:

1Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:11.2001:11.1421:10.240
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.5181:11.0101:10.446
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:11.2141:11.2051:10.920
4Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:11.8371:11.5321:11.071
5Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:12.0231:11.1961:11.079
6Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:11.2291:11.0951:11.101
7Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:11.7201:11.5531:11.324
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:11.7801:11.7351:11.863
9Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:11.7501:11.5721:13.981
10Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.1071:11.786
11Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:11.6191:11.800
12Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:11.9651:11.921
13Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:12.1221:12.136
14Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:12.0201:12.193
15Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:12.109DNF
16Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:12.197
17Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:12.230
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:12.266
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:13.617
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:14.393