F1 Raceweek: Hamilton still optimistic despite Vettel’s pole pace

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has won the Canadian Grand Prix six times

The defending champion Vettel snatched pole position from reigning world champ Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the dying moments of qualifying with a record lap of one minute 10.240 seconds.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team have a new engine for this weekend's race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but Ferrari's straight-line speed advantage puts them in a strong position to fight for pole later on Saturday.

The German crossed the line in first but was handed a five-second time penalty and after storming off, refusing to park his vehicle in the positions allocated to those on the podium, Vettel emerged to swap the No 1 and No 2 bollards as he continued to show his annoyance at the result. "We need to look at our options for overtaking cars tomorrow".

"You are always trying to push the envelope", said Hamilton.

"It's too bad for the team", said Stroll, who is 16th in the drivers' standings with four points. "But our vehicle is a lot better this year in the slower and medium-speed corners".

"We went through quite a few items and that was positive for us".

"That's absolutely not the way I wanted to win", Hamilton said.

Stroll's day got off to a bad start when his Racing Point suffered a dramatic engine failure during the morning session, which saw flames shooting out of the rear of the auto.

Vettel is yet to win a Grand Prix this season, with Mercedes having won each of the six races in 2019.

If anything, the Mercedes championship leader sounded like he couldn't have been happier with the result, even if it means he will start Sunday's race in the No. 2 position. It is very bumpy, very rough.

Verstappen got a much-needed boost after the session, though, with a three-place grid penalty for McLaren's Carlos Sainz and confirmation of a pit-lane start for Magnussen meaning the Red Bull star edged up the grid to ninth.

Notes: Vettel won pole position from qualifying in Montreal past year.

The other Ferrari and Mercedes drivers, Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas, did not fare as well with very scruffy sessions.

"This is one of the tracks where you need to dare going very close to the walls in numerous places", he told the post-qualifying news conference. "Honestly, I don't feel disappointment", he said.

Stroll's Racing Point teammate Sergio Perez of Mexico was also knocked out at Q1.

Magnussen's crash led to the elimination of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in Q2 in 11th place, as he was on a lap on soft Pirellis at the time that would have got him comfortably into the top 10 shootout. With only moments remaining in Q2, Kevin Magnussen, who was tenth fastest at the time, crashed his Haas F1 racer in the chicane leading onto the main straight, doing serious damage to his vehicle and bringing a halt to the session.

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