In a wet qualifying session on Saturday, Max Verstappen put Red Bull on the top row for the Canadian Grand Prix, and Fernando Alonso of Alpine jumped onto the front row next to the F1 championship leader.
In a weekend dominated by discussions of “porpoising,” or bouncing, cars, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz third on a drying track.
After winning his second pole position in nine races this season, Verstappen stated, “I still expect it not to be a straightforward race.” But despite the challenging circumstances, we maintained our composure and avoided errors today. I’m overjoyed to get the lead and to be back in Montreal.”
He beat Alonso’s best qualifying time by 0.645 seconds, clocking in at one minute 21.299 seconds.
The COVID-19 epidemic began in 2019 and the race on Sunday at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will mark the first in Canada since that time. Sunny and dry weather is predicted for the race.
Verstappen is 21 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after winning four of the previous five races.
Alonso, a two-time world champion and the oldest driver on the grid at 40, declared with a smile that he intended to take out Verstappen in the opening corner of the race.
After receiving engine penalties, Leclerc, who started on pole for the last four races, will start at the back.
Kevin Magnussen of Haas and teammate Mick Schumacher classified fifth and sixth, respectively. George Russell of Mercedes is ninth, and Esteban Ocon of Alpine is seventh.