Red Bull Racing locked out row three of the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix with just over a tenth of a second separating fifth-placed Max Verstappen from Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Our race pace looks ok for tomorrow, if we can keep fifth that is the first goal.
Sticking to tradition, Max and Daniel avoided the early exchanges in Q1 and emerged after the first runs had been completed. With 12 minutes remaining both headed out on ultrasoft tyres and again, as has become tradition, both quickly posted banker laps to ensure smooth passage to Q2. Max eased through in P4 with a time of 1:13.177 while Daniel slotted into P8 with a lap of 1:13.543. The session was topped by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas with a lap of 1:12.685. Hamilton was second, just three thousandths of a second behind.
At the other end of the order, with a minute left on the clock, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was hovering just above the drop zone. Any potential blushes were spared when Pascal Wehrlein made a mistake on his final flying lap.
The Sauber driver spun through Turn 1 and slid backwards into the barriers. The incident brought out the yellow flags and ended any hope of improvement for those behind. The session ended with McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne eliminated in 16th place ahead of Williams' Lance Stroll, Haas' Kevin Magnussen and the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Wehrlein.
As with Q1 the second session was a largely straightforward exercise for the front-runners. Hamilton topped the order with a lap of 1:12.496, six hundredths of a second clear of Bottas. The Ferraris slotted into third and fourth, with Raikkonen ahead of Vettel. Max and Daniel were fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa, the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.
With the gap to the front two rows insurmountable on the power-accented Montreal circuit, Q3, if it went according to plan, was always going to be an intra-team scrap for the front slot of row three. And on this occasion the Red Bulls pushed each hard.
After the first runs, Max had the edge – but only just. Verstappen's opening flyer yielded a time of 1:12.540, good enough for P5. Daniel, though was just 0.017s behind and the battle was on.
- Max also started fifth in 2016, and finished the race in p4.
- Max's grid slot represents Red Bull Racing's 11th top-five starting place in Montreal.
- The last time Daniel started sixth here, in 2014, he won the race.
It was Max who came out on top, however, and while Daniel missed out on an improvement on his second run, the Dutch driver found just over a tenth of a second to keep fifth place with a lap 1:12.403.
In the battle for pole, Lewis Hamilton was in unstoppable form. The Mercedes driver logged an opening time of 1:11.791 to set the fastest ever lap of the Circuit Gilles Villenueve. Vettel was on the pace, setting a time 0.004 adrift, but on Hamilton's final run the Briton simply powered away setting a pole time of 1:11.459 that no one could get near. He edged Vettel by 0.330. Bottas was third ahead of Raikkonen.
Behind the Red Bulls Massa was seventh, while Perez and Ocon were eighth and ninth respectively. Hulkenberg will start tenth.