Vettel takes pole, sets lap record in Montreal

Grant SmithJun 11, 2018

Vettel's maximum haul moved him a solitary point clear of his rival in the championship, coming home ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen as the top three finished as they had started.

It is the Italian team's first time on pole in Montreal since seven-time champion Michael Schumacher managed it in 2001. "Normally on some tracks we were dominant and others we struggled, but somehow this year the margins have become so tight that if you look at the fastest laps of the race it's five cars within a tenth". "When we got to qualifying, honestly we knew it was going to be very close as it was, but in my heart, I truly feel like we had the pace to lock out the front row, or at least I had the pace to be on the front row". He was on the back foot when the race began, having started from fourth on the grid. This early stop allowed Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to get ahead of him and Hamilton was never able to get close enough to pass the Australian late on.

"With the start we had, with the race we had, there was nothing more we could do", said Bottas, who has finished second four times this season, but hasn't yet won. He earned his first Formula One points with a ninth-place finish at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve past year.

Hamilton tops the championship leaderboard as he pursues his fifth Formula One title.

He admitted: "We were coming to Montreal expecting our vehicle to be really strong and we are leaving Montreal seeing that we haven't been where we thought we should be".

"I think after a long stretch Ferrari didn't win here, I saw people around and they were super happy".

When it comes to the twisty stuff, 11 of the 14 corners are taken below 100 miles per hour, which makes it particularly hard on the brakes and tires when the cars are coming from the high-speed straights.

"It's such a fun track to drive and we didn't have any problems, I really enjoyed it", said Hamilton, who has won the last three straight races on the Montreal circuit.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, and said it had been a boring race, with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz seventh and eighth. "To have a race like we had today is unbelievable". But the Finn says that it's the race strategy that could prove the decisive factor.

"I think this, and we've had it in the past, is a major wake-up call for every single member of the team", he told reporters.

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