HomeFormula 1Verstappen, untroubled by rains takes pole as grid penalty...

Verstappen, untroubled by rains takes pole as grid penalty spoil’s the Hulk’s party at Canada

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An utterly wet qualifying session with visibility levels shrinking by every bit of rain increasing lap after lap, corner after corner. 

Two small red flag induced stoppages. Only one Ferrari making it to the Q3. Gasly having a poor outing. 

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Haas’s best ever grid position prior to the start of a Grand Prix. 

Alonso outperformed by a team that except a few races has largely been a backmarker. 

And as per usual, Max Verstappen clocking the best ever lap time during the first, second and final qualifying session! 

The Grand Prix of Canada in a few hours from now might just be as fascinating as the race’s qualifying showdown on a Saturday that left one and all drenched at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit. 

But out in the front, it was business as usual for the Flying Dutchman Max Verstappen who’ll be gunning for a 41st victory. Should he get there, the defending world champion, who just recently overtook Sebastian Vettel’s tally of race wins for Red Bull, would have drawn level with the great Senna. 

It’ll be an achievement to savour for the rest of his career and life even after it. 

But can Nico Hulkenberg, gearing up for an 189th race start spoil the party? 

He may have loved to do that had the three place grid drop, a penalty for red flag rules breach not struck his and his team’s chances. 

And while it’s not yet over for the talented and experienced German, Nico would love to relish the third ever front row start to his career that he had bagged right after the drivers registered their final flying lap times before rain interruption made further driving in Q3 simply impossible. 

Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, who broke into the top three the last time around a qualifying battle at the Canadian Grand Prix took place, is primed to begin his run from second on the grid. 

He’ll be trailed by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, the two Mercedes drivers that’ll be followed by Hulkenberg’s Haas. 

Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, who’s had the edge over his fellow Frenchman Pierre Gasly will line up in sixth; the best of the rest in top ten on the grid ahead of Norris, Piastri, Albon and Leclerc, respectively. 

Spare a thought for the Williams driver who despite intrepid rains displayed great traction control, setting at one point, the fastest time in a rain-punctuated Q2. 

Charles Leclerc, who had boxed for a new set of Inters during the closing stages of Q2 found no grip whatsoever and  had thus presided over barely drivable conditions; he’d soon allege that the tires had not been kept ready by the pit crew. 

Did another Ferrari blunder spoil the Monegasque’s party? 

We don’t know for now. What we do now is that Sainz, who had originally gathered an eighth, will begin his Canadian race from eleventh on the grid behind his fellow Ferrari driver for impeding Gasly in the final stages of Q1. 

A P10 and P11 isn’t exactly where you want to be if you’re a Ferrari fan or driver at Canada and amid inclement weather. 

Remember, Sainz was the only Ferrari driver to have made it to the podium during the last installation of the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Sergio Perez, who lacked the quali pace of his teammate, who seemed in imperious form, lines up in twelfth. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly will begin their contest from thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth on the grid. 

Stroll, de Vries, Sargeant, Tsunoda and Guanyu will take sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth positions, respectively. 

But who’ll prevail in the end, will it be a Max dominated Bull run or another super charge to the front of the grid by the two Mercedes drivers, as seen as Spain in the previous race, will form the big question on Sunday. 

Moreover, how far can rain impact the final proceedings and will Fernando Alonso have a dominant day on a track where he’s previously won back in the day will unmistakably make the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix a race to remember. 

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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