Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Verstappen grabs pole as Alonso stuns with second in wet qualifying

2022 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

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Max Verstappen will start the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position, but team mate Sergio Perez is mired in the midfield after crashing in Q2.

Carlos Sainz Jnr came close to joining him on the front row, but was denied by an inspired effort from Fernando Alonso, who secured his best starting position since he started the 2012 German Grand Prix from pole position.

Lewis Hamilton is the first Mercedes driver on the grid in fourth, after team mate George Russell’s slick-tyre gamble backfired.


Following a dry day of running on Friday, and a final practice session run on a largely soaked track, more rain fell ahead of the start of qualifying. All 20 drivers headed out within the first three minutes, full wet weather tyres the order of the day as they navigated a treacherous, puddle-strewn surface, light rain continuing to fall.

Of the initial runners, George Russell as the first to establish a serious benchmark, lapping in 1’36.688. Max Verstappen was almost three-quarters of a second off that with his first effort. Several of the other drivers who were first across the line immediately had their lap times deleted for cutting the chicane at the end of the lap.

By halfway through the session the track surface was improving quickly, enough for Kevin Magnussen to suddenly vault from the bottom of the times to fastest. He was soon shuffled back by the consistently rapid Russell and Max Verstappen.

At the opposite end of the times, Sebastian Vettel as having difficulty escaping the bottom five, having two lap times deleted for exceeding the track limits at turn 10. That left him 18th heading into the final five minutes, ahead of his team mate Lance Stroll, who was complaining of a lack of grip, and Nicholas Latifi, who was consistently last for much of the session.

Charles Leclerc, who was doomed to start from the back row due to his power unit change penalties, also languished in the bottom five for a long time, before eventually piecing together a clean enough lap to breach the top 10.

Most drivers ran the same set of wet tyres from the beginning of the session until the end. The Aston Martin drivers pitted for fresh sets after half-a-dozen laps each, however, Vettel complaining he felt like something had broken on his car. Pierre Gasly also took fresh rubber after seven laps.

With a minute remaining Verstappen, who had complained about traffic thwarting his efforts to improve, got a clear lap in and went quickest. His team mate Sergio Perez could only managed 12th.

A late improvement by Alexander Albon put Gasly into the drop zone. The AlphaTauri driver was the first to take the chequered flag, and with the conditions improving rapidly, couldn’t escape the bottom five.

Latifi failed to match his team mate, ending up 19th ahead of Yuki Tsunoda. The AlphaTauri driver was also due to start from the back due to power unit penalties.

The Aston Martin pair completed the bottom five. Vettel lamented what felt like a huge change in balance for him since the earlier practice session, in which he’d finished third. Stroll’s misery at joining his fellow Canadian in elimination at home was temporarily compounded when the stewards announced he was under investigation for failing to slow for yellow flags – Carlos Sainz Jnr had gone up the escape road at turn three – but the investigation was dropped.

The stewards also announced both Ferrari drivers and Albon were under investigation for driving unnecessarily slowly. They issued a further announcement that Sainz had potentially rejoined in an unsafe fashion when he went off – Esteban Ocon complained his rival “came back on the track like a madman” – but later decided no investigation was needed.

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Q1 result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’32.21911
214Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’32.2770.05811
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’32.7810.56210
420Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’32.9570.73812
516Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’33.0080.78910
631Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’33.0120.79311
763George RussellMercedesW131’33.1600.94111
83Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’33.6361.41711
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’33.6891.47011
1024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’33.6921.47311
1147Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’33.7071.48811
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’33.8411.62211
1311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’33.9291.71011
1423Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’34.0471.82811
154Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’34.0661.84711
1610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’34.4922.27311
175Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’34.5122.29312
1818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’35.5323.31311
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’35.6603.44111
2022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’36.5754.3564

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The 15 drivers left opted for a mix of intermediate and full wet weather tyres when Q2 began. Among those who opted for the heavier tread, Hamilton was quick to report he felt the crossover point to intermediates was near.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
However as drivers pushed harder on the drying track, more mistakes crept in. Albon slithered off at turn six and stopped his Williams just shy of the barrier. Then Perez went off more emphatically, locking his right-front at turn three and nosing into the TecPro barrier, triggering a red flag.

By the time the Red Bull had been cleared away and the session restarted, with nine minutes left on the clock, all drivers were content to run on intermediates, though Mick Schumacher noted it was still too wet for slicks, the racing line still heavily damp in places, and a substantial puddle on the inside of turn one.

Verstappen attacked the drying course, producing a 1’27.764 which put him over a second ahead of the chasing pack. Magnussen crossed the line soon after to take second, as the track continued to dry rapidly. Sainz then claimed the top spot, but Verstappen immediately improved again, gaining one-and-a-half seconds on consecutive laps.

Verstappen continued to hammer away, lopping whole seconds off the benchmark each time he came around. Schumacher, who turned down the opportunity to fit a fresh set of tyres, unexpectedly set the quickest time of all through the first sector, on his way to a time which briefly put him third.

To little surprise, Verstappen was top of the times when the chequered flag brought an end to the flurry of improvements. With Leclerc not setting a time, Norris sidelined after reporting a power unit problem and Perez out, only two further drivers faced elimination.

A last-gasp improvement for Ocon spelled disappointment for Valtteri Bottas, as he failed to accompany his team mate Guanyu Zhou into Q3. Albon also went no further.

Q2 result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’23.74621
214Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’24.8481.10221
363George RussellMercedesW131’24.9501.20422
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’25.1971.45120
544Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’25.5431.79722
647Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’25.6841.93822
724Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’26.1162.37022
831Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’26.1352.38922
920Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’26.2542.50823
103Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’26.3752.62921
1177Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’26.7883.04221
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’26.8583.11221
1311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’33.1279.38114
144Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL36No time15
1516Charles LeclercFerrariF1-75No time10

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As the final phase of qualifying began parts of the straight were visibly dry, while many corners remained damp and some puddles were still lurking. The conditions looked likely to chew up the intermediate tyres quickly.

Verstappen urged his team to ensure a set of slicks were on hand. In response he was told he had just 45 seconds margin to complete the team’s Q3 run plan, and was later advised other drivers were doing the same. He quickly put up a 1’22.701 to lead the times, initially a second clear of second-placed Hamilton, until Russell pegged his team mate back by two-tenths of a second.

While Verstappen monopolised the top spot the fight for the remaining positions appeared wide open. Schumacher, showing great form again, moved ahead of the Mercedes, then Alonso and finally Sainz did the same.

Halfway through Q3 the drivers headed to the pits for fresh tyres. Hamilton twice suggested switching to slicks, but left the pits on intermediates. Russell, meanwhile, called for slicks and rejoined the track on a set of softs.

But it didn’t pay off. He made it as far as turn two on his first flying lap before slithering off and knocking the barrier with his rear wing.

The brief delay caused by that yellow flag didn’t put Verstappen off his stride, though he complained the team hadn’t cut it finer with his final qualifying run, as he still had 45 seconds in hand. He and Sainz matched times around the first two sectors of their final lap, but the Ferrari driver lost seven-tenths of a second at the end of the lap, and Verstappen grabbed pole position.

The flying Alonso took advantage of Sainz’s delay, and split him from Verstappen, joining the Red Bull driver on the front row. Hamilton had to settle for fourth place after being the first driver to start his final lap.

The Haas drivers claimed the third row of the grid, Magnussen ahead of Schumacher. Ocon came next ahead of Russell in his damaged Mercedes, then Ricciardo and Zhou.

Q3 result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’21.29930
214Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’21.9440.64529
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’22.0960.79729
444Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’22.8911.59231
520Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’22.9601.66131
647Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’23.3562.05731
731Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’23.5292.23030
863George RussellMercedesW131’23.5572.25830
93Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’23.7492.45030
1024Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’24.0302.73131

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Verstappen grabs pole as Alonso stuns with second in wet qualifying”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    18th June 2022, 22:28

    Interesting front row. Alonso has nothing to lose, but wouldnt mind keeping his P2 till the end. Disappointing from Perez, but at least it makes team orders easier…

    1. ALO will definitely go for P1 on T1.

      1. Hope so.

      2. Verstappen grabs pole as Alonso stuns with second in wet qualifying.

        If you read this headline you may think it was close……….. hahahaha

        1. Yes you may. I’m not entirely sure ‘why’ you would as there is not a single part of the headline that implies it…. but your right, someone may – for whatever reason- think that.

  2. Carlos Sainz Jr is a bit of an oblivious dummy, isn’t he?

    1. He’s not all there is he. ‘Smooth operator ‘ should be more like ‘Gormless muppet’

    2. Yup… unfortunately. Actually, did not expect much from him since he didn’t prove anything so far. Might be the car too, but I think Ferrari made a mistake signing him beyond 2022. There were some options to try for 2023, and hardly believe any of those options would have been worse than him.

      1. Well, 3rd place isn’t too bad in the circumstances, only really alonso beat him that shouldn’t have, you can’t expect him to beat verstappen on the wet or even in the dry!

  3. I was so hoping George’s Dry gamble would pay off, but he didn’t lose too many positions from it failing.
    Should hopefully pass the Hass cars easily and consolidate a good position behind Lewis.

    1. But what if George catches up to Lewis and they’re in a position to fight… Doubt that’ll happen, but if it does it’ll be the first proper on track interaction they’ll have had!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        18th June 2022, 22:41

        Really looking forward to seeing how that plays out. He’s been faster all weekend in the dry so there’s a good chance they’ll meet on the track tomorrow.

    2. That was comical from Russell if it was his decision to go on slicks. I mean, he saw the standing water on the kerbs at T1 & 2 and up to T3 on his previous run on inters. It was obvious that it wouldn’t get dry enough through S1, even if S2 & 3 were to dry up.
      That wasn’t worth the gample, because it wasn’t even close for a reasonable lap on the slicks.

      1. He was very pedestrian on the out lap as well, which wouldn’t have helped keep the tyre temperature up. The best way of getting through that first sector would have been to light the tyres up on the out lap, and hoping you had enough heat in them to carry you through the first part of the lap.

        1. It was very difficult for Russell, because he already lost temperature in his tyres through the first couple of corners on his out lap. You can’t push if it’s still wet. That’s just pure madness!
          Had George pushed more, he would’ve likely put his Mercedes into the wall. No need to take such a high risk on what looked like a desperate call to grab pole or a front row start.

          1. With only 2 laps on the new tires, he really didn’t stand a chance. What he needed was 3 laps. The first to test its limits in the wet, gengerly. The 2nd to get some temps in the tires, and the 3rd to go for it.

            If Russell had been driving with more forethought, he might have gone splashing through that puddle on turn one, in his earlier runs, to try and move the water there, before trying the slicks.

      2. If George had just kept the inters on he would probably be up there on the second row at least.

        1. Merc needs to try some experimental things this year, usually with HAM til now. And usually those experiments rarely work.

          1. It seems that they then share info to get the best Quali and race for the team though, so from Q1 onwards they are on equal terms again. George’s trip out on slicks were just a gamble that went wrong.

      3. Hamilton twice suggested switching to slicks

        So it’s not like it was a completely bonkers idea.

        1. You’re right, with more experiance Russell might have just nursed that first corner and then compensated for the slower times there, by really using the tires on the dryer sections. Instead he just went for it?

  4. Sainz was on Verstappen’s time in the first 2 sectors, if he kept it clean in the last corner he was surely P2. I’ve predicted Alonso on Pole even though Max is a wet weather master and the Red Bull is certainly a faster car than the Alpine. A pattern is starting to develop over the last races, Alonso is back doing his thing. He is Vandoorning Ocon.

    1. Vandooconing 🤣

    2. Sainz had a purple first sector, Verstappen 2nd sector. After 2 sectors Verstappen was a tenth faster, and Verstappen had been faster in the 3rth sector for the whole session.

      Even without his mistake in the last corner (which would never gain him 8 tenths) he would have been 2nd at best

    3. Prost claims ALO is the best all around driver on the grid.
      Maybe or maybe not but hard to argue with him after a performance like that.

  5. It’s been long said that rain is the great equaliser I would say that today it’s just been shown to be true again. Alonzo in a car that in the dry is a midfield space filler being only a few 10s slower than arguably the fastest car/driver combination on the grid in the dry. It’s not hard to understand why Redbull rejected Alonso’s offer of driving for them.
    Tough Quali 3 for Russell it was a long shot for sure but he chose to try, it would have been amazing it had paid off.

    1. Meh, in my opinion it’d have been a great line up, especially years ago, when verstappen was still inexperienced, ofc there’d have been in-team fighting, but occasionally other top teams did that, like vettel and leclerc in 2019 at ferrari or now at mercedes, or also ricciardo-verstappen at red bull until 2018.

    2. @johnrkh I thought I (also) saw the opposite. You are as good as you car is in the rain. Personally I never believed in ‘rain is the great equalizer’. When your car does not work in the rain you are nowhere. Take Vettel as example. In FP3 he was third on inters but in the qualifying he was almost dead last on the full wets. Same applies to his teammate Stroll who has proven to be very capable in the wet in earlier years (pole in Turkey and P2 in Monza). No equalizer, just a car that didn’t work on wets.

  6. I’m all for the show but Sainz definitely was unsafe when rejoining the track and there is supposed to be a crackdown on slow driving during qualifying. The championship will be over in a few more races as the Red Bull is a rocket and the other cars can’t keep up.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      18th June 2022, 22:43

      I think Leclerc/Ferrari combo is a match for Max but they just can’t seem to get their act together and make it to the end of the race without screwing something up…

    2. Didn’t see what SAI did, but VER backing up into the track didn’t look particularly safe either.

    3. Perez couldn;t really fire up tht rocket though…. quite obviously Ferrari is right upmthere with RBR

  7. I knew Sainz would have lost 2nd to an Alpine or Merc. However, he should easily get Alonso within the first few laps. I wonder who made that call onto dry tyres for Russell. I would have preferred Hamilton really even though Russell was the faster throughout the entire weekend. Cause I believe Hamilton would have avoided a crash and try to secure a laptime. Russell was really attacking turn 1 where the puddles were, while Hamilton was avoiding the apex and the wet part.

    1. Good point about t1. I was amazed Russell was diving in there especially as Verstappen went off doing that in P3. Maybe that was where he was getting his consistent .6s over Hamilton.

  8. Cream rises to the top..

  9. Realistically, maybe positions 5-7 for Alonso, if it’s a dry race. I don’t believe in their race pace, strategy and pit stops. Leclerc will be so much faster that he will get Alonso in the first 20-25 laps. Plus Perez is usually better in the race than in quali. Plus Mercedes will be better in the race.

    If it’s a wet race, then even top 2 is possible depending on the red flags/safety cars/luck.

    1.6s gap for Ocon… ouch. That’s too much for a guy who is ~15 years younger than Alonso.

  10. Why did I know that Sainz would once again fail to deliver a decent lap?! It looked so good until the final chicane, easily a front row start. If it had been Leclerc, he would’ve put the car on pole.
    Carlos just isn’t as mentally strong as Max and Charles or Fernando are.

    Great lap by Max to seal the deal, because he might’ve needed it if Sainz had a better run through the final corner. Fernando did great too to put his Alpine on the front row. He hasn’t got anything to lose tomorrow, but I doubt he would try something too adventurous on Max on lap 1.
    Certainly didn’t expect both Haas drivers to end up on the thrid row. Great first run by Mick Schumacher, just a shame he couldn’t put in a better lap on his second set of inters. Magnussen once again pulls ahead of his teammate during the most crucial moments of the weekend and nearly beat Hamilton to P4.
    I don’t know what Russell or Mercedes were thinking by putting George on slicks. There was still standing water on the kerbs at T1 & 2 and in the traction zone between 2 and 3. Russell would have lost a couple of seconds through the first sector alone, so it didn’t matter how dry the other sectors were.
    That was certainly a rookie mistake by Checo Pérez. According to Helmut Marko, Pérez braked 30m later than Verstappen before T3. This pretty much illustrates how severe and unnecessary that mistake was. It was probably born out of frustration, because he was much slower than Max in Q1. P13 is not where he should be starting, considering Leclerc’s penalty.

    1. Agree about sainz, even though this quali wasn’t too bad for him; as for perez, yes, not impressive, but overall across the season he’s still doing a way better number 2 job than sainz is.

  11. Did Mercedes put Russell on dry tyres knowing that would allow Hamilton to outqualify him for once? Are they that cynical?

    Certainly Wolf’s focus is on Hamilton. He could hardly bring himself to recognise Russell’s excellent performance in his Sky interview. If he really is unable to shift his focus from Abu Dhabi and an assumption it should now be championship business as “usual” that would be a significant problem for the team moving on and up.

    1. Russell completely disagrees with you but what would he know, right?

    2. Nope. Russell just gave it a try and it didnt work. All the rest of your weird thinking is just inside your head…

    3. Russell made the decision himself to use slicks, but don’t let that stop you from making up a special story all of your own.

  12. I prefer indycar these days, less manufactured compared to liberty medias version of f1.

  13. Alonso leaving no doubt he’s a still a top driver.
    Grid bodes well for a good race tomorrow, dry or wet.

  14. Verstappen and Alonso the class of the field in qualifying although shout out to the Haas drivers and Zhou for some excellent work.

    Normally you’d expect Hamilton to be up there in the wet but he just doesn’t have the confidence, whether it’s the car pr the dissapointment of last year, probably a bit of both.

  15. Max and Alonso are easily the best drivers of the current field. Rain always discloses ability

    1. Max just used the car he is given. Everything below domination would be a shame with such a superior car. Even while last years title was gifted, he is no rookie anymore and it can be expected by any of the experienced drivers to bring it home with such a superior car.

      1. Well said. This must apply to every driver and not be selective when it comes to other drivers.

  16. Alonso and the Haas achieved more than could have been expected. Also HAM by putting the kangaroo in the 2nd row.

    I hope especially the Haas drivers make the most out of it in the race.

    1. Hamilton on the 2nd row is not a surprise, since Russell and Perez eliminated themselves, and Ferrari eliminated Leclerc.

      1. Well, looking at how the car behaved in practice it is. So easy to make mistakes with a car like this.

  17. Max showed why RedBull sees him as the title contendor more than Perez, it was him and rest of the field.

    I dont think Charles would have gotten pole today even if he was competing.

    1. @illusive
      Sainz was matching Verstappen’s time in the first two sectors before screwing his lap in the last corner and losing 4 tenths to both Max and Alonso. If he he would have been a couple of tenths slower than Verstappen and given the fact that Leclerc obliterated him this year in qualifying with huge gaps, I have no doubt that he would have been also on Pole in Canada.

  18. Oh, forgot to comment on the main article ofc and say it was a very interesting qualifying, thanks to the wet track ofc, and also crossovers are interesting to me, with q1 fully with wet tyres, q2 where they started switching to intermediates and q3 fully on intermediate and with a slick gamble, gave us an unusual grid with a great performance by alonso and the haas, for example, was also interesting to see hamilton 2nd, as he’s usually good in the wet, until sainz and alonso completed their last lap.

  19. Well done to alonso. He has always been very fast. Unfortunately his political and self centered nature has messed up his career. Making him only a 2 time champion whereas he should have more.

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