Max Verstappen takes Canadian F1 GP pole in wet with Leclerc near the back

However, Formula One’s young charger will have fierce company off the start line from the old guard, with Fernando Alonso showing all his experience and class to claim second place in treacherous wet conditions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Certainly Verstappen’s lap was a magnificent performance for pole but Alonso, at 40, 16 years senior to the Dutchman, also delivered a masterclass, an object lesson when a wet track proved the great leveller over car performance. His title rival Charles Leclerc, however, can hope at best only to minimise the damage this weekend as he was compromised by penalties that will see him start his Ferrari from 19th. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez, second in the title standings, crashed in Q2 and will start 13th. Hamilton returned his best qualifying of the season but was still 1.5sec from Verstappen. McLaren’s Lando Norris had a power unit issue and finished in 14th, in front of Leclerc, with Ferrari opting for their driver to not set a time in Q2.

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