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Canadian GP: George Secures Pole Position in Montreal, Lewis in P7

Extremely hard fought qualifying in Canada: George and Max Verstappen with identical times in Q3!

Capricious weather, groundhogs and two identical lap times in the battle for pole position - Formula 1 delivered a real spectacle in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix!

But right from the start. After the ninth race weekend of the season had started with two wet practice sessions on Friday, the drivers and the team had their first opportunity to set up the cars in the dry and prepare for qualifying in FP3 on Saturday morning. Lewis and George managed this well with first and third place.

However, rain was once again forecast for qualifying. Between FP3 and the start of qualifying, there was a heavy shower over the track, but the track had dried out again by Q1. George and Lewis completed two runs on the same set of Soft tyres and made it safely into Q2 in 3rd and 7th place.

The renewed threat of rain forced the team to take to the track early at the start of the second qualifying segment. The first raindrops fell as soon as the green light was switched on. George and Lewis were undeterred by this and made it safely into Q3 in first and second place.

All ten qualified drivers only had one new set of Soft tyres left for the final session of the day. George and Lewis topped the timesheets on their first attempt with used Soft tyres. They were unable to improve on their second run on fresh tyres. However, George's time of 1:12.000 was enough to secure his second pole position in Formula 1.

However, it was not easy. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) improved on his final run and set the exact same time as George! As George had set this time first, he will start from pole on Sunday and Verstappen from P2.

The hard-fought qualifying session was a shame for Lewis in particular. He struggled to get the tyres into the right window on his decisive run and was only 0.280 seconds behind George's pole time in P7!

After the ultra-exciting qualifying, we can expect 70 equally action-packed laps at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Sunday at the Canadian Grand Prix. The race starts at 14:00 local time (19:00 BST) and the weather could also have an impact on the race on Sunday.

George Russell

It’s been a great day! It was such a tight fight for pole position. The previous few races I’ve been a matter of hundredths of a second behind the car ahead, so it’s nice to be on the upside of that today! In the end, Q3 was difficult. I did my best lap of the session in Q2, and I didn’t improve on my last lap in Q3. I wasn’t sure therefore whether I had taken pole position as I crossed the line. The new tyre is usually worth three to four tenths of a second but thankfully, my first run on the used tyre was good enough for P1.

The car has been so good this weekend. Everyone at Brackley and Brixworth has been working so hard to bring updates and performance. This hard work is now translating into results which is fantastic to see. It’s only been two races and on unique circuits, but the steps we’ve taken to get closer to the front are encouraging. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow now. We will be aiming for victory but there are plenty of unknowns with this new surface and the weather. I’m feeling confident in the car and in myself though so bring it on!

Lewis Hamilton

Firstly, congratulations to George. It is amazing for the team to take pole position. Everyone at Brackley and Brixworth has done such a great job pushing the car and its development forward. They have worked tirelessly to bring the recent updates. It’s been feeling great all weekend so, despite starting P7, I hope we can have a decent race. It is tough to overtake here and the cars ahead are quite close so it will be challenging, but I’ll be doing my best.

It was a tough session on my side. We were quick in FP3, but I struggled a little more in Qualifying. I found it difficult to get the tyres working throughout and that was the same on my final lap in Q3. Let’s see what tomorrow brings and if we can make progress.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

Getting pole position is a great feeling. We’ve been saying it for a while, but we are going in the right direction. We have taken several small steps in recent races, and it is all adding up to bring us greater performance. That has helped us get closer to the front and we are now progressing to a car that can challenge there more regularly.

Our final laps in Q3 weren’t actually our best. Neither driver could improve on the new tyre, so it was very tight at the end. We will look into the data to try and understand why that was. George found himself just able to hold off Max (Verstappen) but Lewis was more unfortunate. Nevertheless, they’ve both showed great speed this weekend so we will see what we can do tomorrow.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

It's great to get pole position. It is really encouraging for the whole team who have been working so hard to improve the car over the last few months. We've still got work to do, but it's great to see that the incredible efforts everyone has made to bring improvements are all helping move us in the right direction.

It's a shame that we didn't get Lewis further up the grid but it's particularly disappointing for him as he's looked so strong all weekend. George was also unable to improve on his final effort, but his first lap was good enough for pole position. Obviously, the goal tomorrow with George is to keep him in front. Lewis also has a good opportunity to fight for a podium given his pace looked so strong on the long run in FP3 today. The weather may also play a part; it's been fairly unpredictable and keeping us on our toes but we've looked good in all conditions, so hopefully we are well set to cover whatever comes our way.

2024 Canadian Grand Prix Quiz

Q: Lewis took his first race win in Canada in 2007. Who joined him on the podium that afternoon?

2024 Canadian GP Qualifying Result

1

George Russell

Mercedes-AMG

1:12.000

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1:12.000

3

Lando Norris

McLaren

1:12.021

4

Oscar Piastri

McLaren

1:12.103

5

Daniel Ricciardo

Racing Bulls

1:12.178

6

Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin

1:12.228

7

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

1:12.280

8

Yuki Tsunoda

Racing Bulls

1:12.414

9

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

1:12.701

10

Alexander Albon

Williams

1:12.796

11

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

1:12.691

12

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

1:12.728

13

Logan Sargeant

Williams

1:12.736

14

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1:12.916

15

Pierre Gasly

Alpine

1:12.940

16

Sergio Pérez

Red Bull

1:13.326

17

Valtteri Bottas

Sauber

1:13.366

18

Nico Hülkenberg

Haas

1:13.978

19

Zhou Guanyu

Sauber

1:14.292

20

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

1:13.435 (+5)

2024 Canadian GP FP3 Result

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

1:12.549

31

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1:12.923

32

3

George Russell

Mercedes-AMG

1:12.957

33

4

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

1:13.026

27

5

Oscar Piastri

McLaren

1:13.266

32

6

Daniel Ricciardo

Racing Bulls

1:13.279

34

7

Lando Norris

McLaren

1:13.293

32

8

Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin

1:13.340

30

9

Sergio Pérez

Red Bull

1:13.342

29

10

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

1:13.349

28

11

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1:13.439

30

12

Carlos Sainz

Ferrari

1:13.570

33

13

Valtteri Bottas

Sauber

1:13.642

32

14

Logan Sargeant

Williams

1:13.663

31

15

Yuki Tsunoda

Racing Bulls

1:13.716

31

16

Pierre Gasly

Alpine

1:13.737

29

17

Nico Hülkenberg

Haas

1:13.777

27

18

Alexander Albon

Williams

1:13.880

22

19

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

1:14.075

31

20

Zhou Guanyu

Sauber

1:18.656

4

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