Defending world champion Max Verstappen is hoping for a “good fight” with rivals Ferrari in the fight for victory at the Canadian Grand Prix when he took an impressive pole in wet qualifying.
Remarkably, this was only the Red Bull driver’s second pole position of the season – the second came at Imola – and his championship, with his main title rivals Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc set to start 13th and 19th. Keeps him in great shape to extend the lead. respectively.
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While teammate Pérez made mistakes in difficult conditions and got into obstacles, Verstappen didn’t put a foot wrong as he danced his Red Bull around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“It felt good, especially with these difficult conditions in qualifying,” he said. “You had to stay calm and make sure you headed through qualifying, and that’s what we did. The car was also working really well when the track was drying up.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow, when conditions will be drier and hotter, Verstappen – who took Red Bull’s first pole in Montreal since 2013 – said he expected a threat from Ferrari, who have third place behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. But there is Carlos Sainz.
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“It is very close between us and Ferrari in the long run, so I expect it to be a good fight. Looking forward to it.”
Perez arrived in Montreal after three consecutive top-two finishes, but faced an uphill battle to continue that streak, after making a mistake, shutting down the intermediate tires and missing out on qualifying.
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“It was a mistake on my part – I messed up,” he said. “I should have just waited and taken things a little more carefully at that point.
“I was trying to put the temperature in the tyres. Unfortunately, I went overboard and then I became a traveller.
He added: “I will do my best tomorrow, try to minimize the damage, which would be great if we are able to do that.”