In treacherous conditions for qualifying at the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix, it was Max Verstappen who kept his head to claim his first pole position of 2022 since Imola – with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso set to join him on the front row after a stunning run from the Spaniard.
Lapping on intermediate tyres on the drying Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Verstappen clocked a time of 1m 21.299s, leaving him a full 0.645s clear of the pack, headed by Alonso – who made only his third top three qualifying appearance in the turbo-hybrid era.
Completing the top three was the Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, whose team mate Charles Leclerc is set to start P19 after taking on new power unit elements. Lewis Hamilton showed his wet weather prowess to take P4, ahead of a fine performance for the Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, sharing the third row in P5 and P6.
Esteban Ocon claimed P7 ahead of the second Mercedes of George Russell – an attempt to set a lap on slicks in the closing stages coming to nought for the Englishman, as he spun at Turn 2 – with Daniel Ricciardo heading Zhou Guanyu. The Chinese driver was making his first ever Q3 appearance, but will be investigated after the session for an infringement at Turn 14.
Valtteri Bottas was 11th, ahead of the Williams of Alex Albon, then Sergio Perez – who crashed his Red Bull out of Q2, bringing out red flags – ahead of Lando Norris, the Briton experiencing a power unit issue.
Leclerc was P15, but will fall back with his penalty, promoting Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, who all dropped out in Q1.
Yuki Tsunoda will bring up the rear of the field, having also taken engine penalties for power unit changes.