Max Verstappen, George Russell, Oscar Piastri, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Russell snatches Canadian Grand Prix pole in dead heat with Verstappen

2024 Canadian GP qualifying report

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George Russell secured his second career pole position in Formula 1 in Montreal after Max Verstappen set an identical lap time to him in Q3.

Russell posted a 1’12.000 in Q3 which Verstappen matched at the chequered flag. Despite the pair being on identical lap times, Russell earned pole position by virtue of having set the time first.

The two McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will start third and fourth. Neither Ferrari driver reached Q3 and Sergio Perez failed to progress beyond Q1 for the second weekend in a row.

Q1

The circuit was dry in the minutes leading up to the start of the first session of qualifying, but with an 80% chance of rain during the hour, it seemed a matter of time before the conditions would change.

Zhou Guanyu led the field out of the pit lane for the start of Q1 ahead of the two Alpine drivers. McLaren reported some spots of rain at turns seven and eight to their drivers, but track remained dry.

Max Verstappenwas the first driver to complete a push lap with a 1’15.194, but that was immediately beaten by Lando Norris and then Lance Stroll, who both posted 1’14.5s. Norris improved to a 1’13.541, but that was beaten by Verstappen, who went quickest of all by a tenth of a second.

Stroll clattered the Wall of Champions at the exit of the final chicane, but appeared not to have done too much damage to his car as he was able to continue. Oscar Piastri was upset at being held up by Lewis Hamilton and Yuki Tsunoda at the exit of turn four – the incident was noted by the stewards but they decided no further investigation was necessary.

In the final three minutes, Sergio Perez was the headline name sat in the drop zone, well away from safety in 19th. Perez improved but up to 12th place, putting team mate Verstappen on the bubble in 15th. Verstappen posted the quickest time of all on his final lap, taking him to the top of the times.

As drivers continued to improve at the chequered flag, Perez sank further down the order. When Alexander Albon jumped to fourth on his final lap, that dropped Perez into elimination in 16th and ensuring he would fail to reach Q3 for the third consecutive race weekend.

Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg and Zhou joined the Red Bull driver in elimination.

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Q1 result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’12.360
2 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.748 0.388
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’12.851 0.491
4 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.896 0.536
5 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.907 0.547
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.959 0.599
7 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’13.013 0.653
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-24 1’13.038 0.678
9 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’13.063 0.703
10 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’13.088 0.728
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-24 1’13.107 0.747
12 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’13.117 0.757
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’13.217 0.857
14 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’13.240 0.880
15 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A524 1’13.289 0.929
16 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’13.326 0.966
17 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’13.366 1.006
18 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A524 1’13.435 1.075
19 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’13.978 1.618
20 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’14.292 1.932

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Q2

Rain appeared to be imminent as the lights at the end of pit lane went green for the start of the second phase. However, Norris was told any shower should only last “two-to-three minutes”.

That still made getting an early push lap in on slick tyres a necessity and Verstappen was eager to join the queue of cars exiting the pit lane. The world champion cut into the pack of cars and was noted by the stewards to fail to follow new directions from the race director for this weekend outlining how drivers can join the fast lane.

George Russell set the pace in the opening runs, sitting on top with a 1’12.323, a tenth ahead of Piastri. The rain that fell proved inconsequential, with Ferrari warning Charles Leclerc that rain would not fall in Q2, but before the start of Q3.

Verstappen improved with a second push lap on his used soft tyres, but was only just able to sit in safety in tenth place. As the field emerged from the pit lane for the second time, Yuki Tsunoda needed to find time to improve, along with Stroll, the Williams pair, and Pierre Gasly sitting slowest.

All five improved, knocking Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jnr into danger in the closing minutes. Verstappen managed to go safe, but Sainz could not, putting the Ferrari driver out. Leclerc ran two consecutive push laps in an effort to ensure he would reach Q3, but he was knocked out by Albon. The Williams driver suffered a slow pit stop where his right-rear wheel became stucj, but once it was freed and replaced he escaped the bottom five with his final run, meaning both Ferraris dropped out in Q2.

Sargeant was also eliminated in 13th, while Kevin Magnussen and Gasly were the final two drivers to be knocked out.

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Q2 result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’11.742
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’11.979 0.237
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.201 0.459
4 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.303 0.561
5 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.462 0.720
6 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.485 0.743
7 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’12.549 0.807
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.572 0.830
9 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.635 0.893
10 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.659 0.917
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-24 1’12.691 0.949
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-24 1’12.728 0.986
13 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.736 0.994
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’12.916 1.174
15 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A524 1’12.940 1.198

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Q3

With both Ferraris and Perez out of qualifying and Verstappen only seventh in Q2 after complaining about the grip in his Red Bull, the door seemed to be wide open for Mercedes and McLaren to take pole position.

Even though rain had been expected before the start of the final phase of qualifying, it failed to materialise over the opening minutes. Verstappen set the provisional pole time after his first run with a 1’12.358, three tenths of a second quicker than Oscar Piastri with the two Aston Martins of Alonso and Stroll in third and fourth.

Without the fear of rain hitting the track, Mercedes opted to send their pair out out of sync with the rest of the field. Russell beat Verstappen’s time with a 1’12.000, with Hamilton backing up his team mate in second, two tenths slower than his team mate.

Piastri opted to make a live pit stop and return back onto the track immediately with fresh tyres. He was soon joined by team mate Norris, with the two McLarens circulating on an almost empty track. Piastri improved to a 1’12.103 to go second, before Norris pipped him by less than tenth to go second.

Pole position was therefore likely to be either taken by either a Mercedes or Verstappen in the Red Bull. Verstappen improved but set an identical 1’12.000 to Russell, meaning he moved second due to Russell setting the lap first. Russell did not improve with his last lap, but his first was good enough for pole.

Norris took third, just 0.021 behind Russell and Verstappen, with Piastri in fourth. Daniel Ricciardo took fifth ahead of Alonso, with Hamilton only able to secure seventh after a poor final lap. Tsunoda secured eighth ahead of Stroll and Albon, completing the top ten.

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Q3 result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’12.000
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’12.000 0.000
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.021 0.021
4 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’12.103 0.103
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.178 0.178
6 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.228 0.228
7 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’12.280 0.280
8 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.414 0.414
9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.701 0.701
10 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.796 0.796

2024 Canadian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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78 comments on “Russell snatches Canadian Grand Prix pole in dead heat with Verstappen”

  1. That was some 1997 stuff. Great qualifying. F1 2023 shaping up to be quite a good season

    1. 2023 wasn’t a good season :P

      1. You know what I meant.

        1. I luv chicken
          9th June 2024, 0:40

          I kind of liked season 2023.

    2. Other reason we need an edit button, else we accidentally talk up bad seasons!

    3. Williams also showing up at just the right time to convince Sainz to ditch the doomed Audi project, which I already think his gut feeling has been warning him away from. It’ll be a pretty embarrassing blow to Audi if they can’t even get Sainz to sign and yet more fallout from their refusal to not just invest in improving the team before they showed up, but in looking like they might ditch the project altogether for so long.

  2. I find it extremely funny that I think yesterday someone in the site commented on Indycar using a fourth decimal for their timing screen, calling it pointless.

    1. Using a 4th decimal is pointless. It looks the timetables unneccessarily messy and the time differences more confusing to read.
      In our today’s scenario, which happens only once every 20 or 30 years, it would… well, basically deprive us of the specialness of this event occuring.

      1. greasemonkey
        8th June 2024, 23:49

        On one hand I was going to counter that point, but, nah, I think I’ll assert it would be really cool to go even further, and this is not sarcasm…I mean it. What if it were just to the tenth, and first there got it?

        1. greasemonkey
          8th June 2024, 23:52

          IOW, all that really matters, safety wise (one primary reason to sort for qual), within a tenth is certainly within the margin of safety. Then it becomes a first-to-the-tenth game. That sounds fun to me.

          (a whole second is too far….that does bring in safety issues, so a tenth it is)

        2. greasemonkey
          8th June 2024, 23:56

          For the record, this does actually assert that to the 4th is not pointless. The cool idea is to make even a hundredth meaningless, by design, on purpose, sporting rule wise.

        3. @greasemonkey
          That is actually a neat idea! It would help the congestion in the last 30 seconds since it would promote being the first to set a time.

  3. The race is set up wonderfully:

    – Two cars on front row with exactly the same pace
    – Will Verstappen be attacking, or defending? McLarens looked faster…
    – Can Hamilton cut through the field? Alonso and Ricciardo should both be slower than him, and he’s been quick all weekend (apart from the two laps that counted)
    – The Ferraris got too cute in quali trying to save tires, but their pace was better than 11th and 12th.

    Loads of drivers poised to attack, move forward – should be tension up and down the grid. And we have a decent chance of our 5th winner in 9 races.

    Drivers, start your engines!

    1. Agree, this is a nice setup that bodes well for the race. Multiple cars out of position – maybe we’ll see some mixed strategies. I could see Perez, either of the Ferraris, or Hamilton maybe opting to start on the hards. Ferrari could split strategies to maximise opportunities for safety cars or VSCs. And it probably isn’t clear cut who will have the race pace advantage out of the top 3 on the grid.

      1. I luv chicken
        9th June 2024, 1:06

        I side with your optimistic view, of the race potential, except for the fact that they race for about 10 laps, turn down the engines for about 50 laps and keep a bit of fuel in reserve, just in case. In the pre battery years, it was quite audible, and left a sour taste, knowing how little they actually put out, especially in Montreal. Another reason that they turn everything down, especially in Montreal, is that hard racing would mean that brakes would be extremely marginal.

    2. An Sionnach
      8th June 2024, 22:37

      It’ll be interesting, alright. Looks like the Mercedes is quicker, but how will it work with the tyres over the race? George isn’t one to back out and neither is Max. Yes, the McLaren might be the next fastest car here, so Max is in a bit of a sandwich.

      Lewis close to Alonso might not be a good thing, and Stroll might be close to them if he gets a good start.

      Bit of a disappointing qualifying session from a championship perspective, considering how close Leclerc is to Max. He’ll want to minimise the damage during the race. Might be wise to take it easy, survive the start and go from there. Gain positions by not crashing?

    3. Can Checo go from 26th to beat Max and Jorge? Another great storyline.

    4. Ricciardo and Alonso both seemed to do the best in out performing their car. If DR can start putting in his best consistently, he’ll be a very valuable asset. But consistency is the huge question.

      1. I luv chicken
        9th June 2024, 4:27

        Thank You, Jacques Villeneuve. ( Those were Jacques exact words).

        1. When? Earlier in the season or after Canadian quali?

        2. I Googled JV and DR and what he said was literally nothing like what I said. lol

  4. Great session. Russell showing how it’s done. More proof Hamilton is completely washed. Yet to qualify higher than P7 this season! 8-1 to your team mate! Move on old man.

    Perez and Hamilton should both be retired instantly. So must talent waiting in the wings and we have these two wasting two of the best seats in F1 next year.

    1. Ferrari might do well in reconsidering, why would they need such a dotage driver?

      1. Money. Hes become a marketing gimmick. Le Clerc is going to have a field day with him next year.

        1. Will make Stoffel Vandoorne good in retrospect

        2. Although the quali this season has been one-sided in favour of Russell, this is the first time the actual gap has been significant.

          Assuming Hamilton is ‘completely washed’ based on so few races doesn’t seem very sensible. He had an excellent season last year, given the limitations of his car. This season so far has been a disappointment, but in the past people who have written Hamilton off have ended up looking foolish.

          1. There is a lot more going on at Mercedes than meets the eye. Hamilton said in the post-quali interview, he had no grip, meaning someone at the garage messed up. Russell got the better of Hamilton due to a tow he picked up from Albon. After that Mercedes just gave up improving either driver. We can’t blame changing conditions since Verstappen managed to improve on his second run.

          2. Why do you bother to entertain people with their hyperbolic takes on everything? This is the first season where Hamilton has been struggling to beat his teammate in qualifying, and the gap has been fairly small, one of the smallest on the grid. Yet they’re pretty evenly matched in the race. Any difference in championship points has been because of the qualifying performance. George seems to be more comfortable in the car and he put out a great lap before the wind picked up. Hamilton tends to build towards his final lap, and this time around the wind prevented any improvement on his side. It might not have been good enough to beat George, but at least he could have been further up. Disappointing, considering that he’s a specialist at that circuit, but it’s the nature of the sport. In my opinion, Mercedes put the drivers at unnecessary pressure by sending them out late, especially when the conditions are uncertain.

          3. Dating back to the end of last season, it’s 11-1 qualifying for Russell, and this is one of Hamilton’s strongest tracks. That’s Mazepin, Sargeant, and other pay driver kind of reckoning. Hamilton is done. To qualify seventh when your teammate is on pole is just humiliating, and he cannot make the “set up” excuses anymore. Mercedes dodged a massive bullet when he signed with Ferrari. I would say that Ferrari is regretting its contract, but the move was always just for marketing. Surely Ferrari never believed that Hamilton was going to take them to the promised land. Leclerc is their number one, and Lewis could be a competent number two who scores points. At least he isn’t worse than Perez! Qualifying next year should be hilarious.

          4. André, none of the 2 people you can potentially have meant to answer to (ajaxn or paul) excessively criticised hamilton, if anything they both defended him.

          5. Ahh, I think I understood now what you meant, as in that he shouldn’t have answered to hyperbolic comments.

    2. Well, in Hamilton’ case it might be that he is not that motivated at the moment. Let’s see how he fares with renewed energy in red first before writing him off.

  5. Could we just leave this spec of cars for the next 5 years. Its all finally getting to a great competition.

    1. F1 always does this. As soon as the formula becomes really close, they change the rules based on gaps that were large 4-5 seasons ago. It’d be one thing if the cars were getting back to the size and weight they were around 2005, but the size and weight is basically staying the same.

      1. Or… when the rules are about to change, the front running teams focus on the new regs earlier and thus allow the others to close the gap.

        1. Yes, it is a circle. But not only the regulators are cause of it. I agree they move too fast when they see gaps between teams at the start of a regulatory period. But they are also triggered by the political mumbo jumbo of the teams not getting it right in year one and two of such regulatory period. We know eventually they will catch up but by then the regulator has already caved under their pressure and defined a new period. It is a perpetual thing.

  6. Interview with Max was interesting, he seemed thrilled to be 2nd probably expecting to be further down the grid. Given where Perez ended getting dead even with the fastest car might be a supreme achievement.

    Brilliant lap from George, well done and nice to see Noris so close in third.
    Puzzled by Lewis, he sounded happy all weekend with the car yet when it mattered he yet again found himself behind Russell and not even by a tiny margin – 7th in the fastest car is just not good enough, also in Q2 he was 2 tenth of Russell.

    Hope race tomorrow is not decided by the luck of safety car and that winner is the driver that managed the hopefully changing dry/wet/dry conditions the best.

    1. “Brilliant lap from George” “Puzzled by Lewis”

      Yeah, let’s just ignore the huge tow Russell got down the back straight on his pole lap.

      Neither Russell or Hamilton improved on their final runs.

      1. Russell was only 0.026 slower on his second effort. Still would have been P2.

        Hamilton didn’t improve and is P7 in the best car on the grid. Shocking how bad he is this year. He’s in the bottom two on the driver ratings this season and maybe that’ll be dead last after this weekend. He’s lost it. Sad but it’s time to retire.

        1. He demolished George last season, you think he’s suddenly forgot how to drive an F1 car? Of course you don’t, you’re an edge lord.

          1. Im sure Hamilton’s move to Ferrari has nothing to do with this season’s poorer stats…..

          2. He didn’t “demolish” Russell. Qualifying was dead even, and George made stupid mistakes in the races. On pure pace, George was the faster driver last year overall too.

          3. it could be anything from engine settings to overheating the tires in the blankets.

            merc are only interested in marketing to a younger demographic. the sooner Lewis leaves that team the better.

    2. Pérez dont even need Red Bull to be slow to start at the back.

      The win is completely on the table for Max, theyre definitely not as weak as they made everybody believe them to be.

      1. perez deserves his grid spot. p no where. hes literally slowing down their team and demanding a seat. hot garbage.

      2. I think the media are confusing pole not being a guarantee for RBR anymore with being weak and super vulnerable. But Perez is definitely showing the combo of keeping Max happy + the huge amount of $ Checo brings are the priorities. Max talked about how he wanted competition, was getting bored and didn’t care who his teammate was, but as soon as Fernando started trying to get in there, he instantly changed his tune.

    3. I think the RedBull is level with the Mercedes cars. McLaren and Ferrari are ahead. We get confused since Max puts it higher than where the car belongs. The increased gap with Checo says it all. It is going to be an exciting season.

      1. yeah, but if you take Perez into consideration. Red Bull is fighting with Haas.

        Perez is unreliable to the point he doesn’t count half the time.

        Again this year, he’s the worst among the top drivers yet still high on the standings.

      2. If the RBR is level with Mercedes for this race, then Max put the car where it should be. I know you can’t be claiming the RBR and MB have been equal all year since Checo finished the first 3 races in second place…

        As mentioned by many people, Checo has always been a terrible qualifier. Some of it might have to do with the fact he is naturally good at being gentle on tires. It’s possible his style makes it hard to generate enough heat in his tires.

  7. I’m intrigued as to what McLaren’s strategy will be.
    I think they are in a very good position here.

    And Red Bull should be very, very grateful that Ferrari seem to have dropped the ball this weekend.
    Thanks to Perez they could easily have lost the lead in the Constructors fight tomorrow.

  8. Is this Hamilton’s worst year in F1 ever?

    1. The ‘07 Shanghai gravel trap cannot be beaten. Unfortunately it is tarmac now.

    2. Yes. He’s done. The Ferrari move is such a waste of everyone’s time.

      1. Flying Lap
        9th June 2024, 1:08

        You must be an F1 newbie. Points are awarded on Sunday, the day Russell usually fouls up.

        1. considering russell has been favored on that team for almost three years, and he only has two poles in f1, speakes volumes. the guy is never going to catch anyones records unless pirelli keep the tyres with mercedes.

          1. Russell hasn’t been favored for three years. You can argue he’s being slightly advantaged this year, but to assert George has been favored for the last three seasons is nothing short of delusional / maximum fan bias.

          2. How can russell only have 2 poles? Hungary 2022? Interlagos 2022? And this would make 3, if I didn’t forget any, but probably not.

          3. Hahaa the Hamiltoncult, making reality up as they go along. Russell being favoured?? LOL

    3. I’d say so. This reminds me of Vettel’s 2014. I suspect we’ll have 2020 spec Lewis back next year. I think Mercedes has grown stale for him and it’s time for a change, just like any workplace really.

  9. I love how it’s 1:12 on the nose, as well as a dead heat.

    1. Maybe the clocks just broke

    2. So many zeroes!

  10. Can Perez just retire for crying out loud? How embarrassing is this? Does Red Bull even care? Oh wait, they have always been one driver. Jeez this is already getting to Stroll/Mazepin level performance.

  11. Well after that I think Keith needs to start a ‘Rate The Qualifying’…..

    1. Absolutely, I said it before in monaco, and actually canada had very interesting quali sessions in recent years, some were very competitive already from q1.

  12. Here I was thinking pole would be close between McLaren, Ferrari, and Max heading into the weekend. I hadn’t even given Mercedes any consideration. They’ve seemed quick all weekend and I’m pleased George took pole in a normal session so his performance can’t be explained away by others tripping up with rain. On paper, this should be a pretty cracking GP, wet or dry!

    1. Yes, this is a surprise performance for me by mercedes.

  13. aston back up there in canada, no shockers there, seems merc could make it work too.

    if pirelli are printing lot numbers on their tires, i would be taking notes.

    1. Stroll only 5 tenths off Alonso, showing he’s the man.

      1. He’d lead Aston if the championship standings were upside down

  14. Interesting qualifying.

    Shame that the RB car is not great off the start. That’s where they’ll lose ground on Sunday.

    1. Yeah, they’ve been awful at the green light. They seem to average 2-3 positions lost at lights out.

  15. Yuki P2 in Q1, P4 in Q2 and P8 in Q3. His Q3 time was worse than Q2 like few other drivers. Wind made it tricky in the end and some drivers including him were clearly caught by it.

  16. What an exciting qualifying, & three surprise eliminations in Perez & especially the Ferrari duo.

    1. @jerejj Honestly, is it even a surprise when Perez gets knocked out in Q1? It happened like 6 times last year, and this year the grid is closer together, so I’d expect a similar number of Q1 exits this year.

  17. These results make me think what a weak era 2014-2020 was. How the hell did this man win 100+ races? He is shocking.

  18. Good performance from Magnussen. He needed that. I hope he stays in the team next year with Hulkenberg leaving. He is one of the most relatable and genuine drivers in the grid who is a pure racer.

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