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  • Writer's pictureBen Waterworth

Hulkenberg heartbreak as Verstappen claims third consecutive pole

All the headlines after qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix centered around the resurgent Nico Hulkenberg and his stunning front row start for Haas, before heartbreak quickly took over and took away the German’s moment.


After a wet/dry qualifying saw a mixed grid emerge, Hulkenberg made the most of the wet conditions at the end of Q3 to storm to his third career front row and first since 2016 behind the ever dominant Max Verstappen for Red Bull.


However after a stewards review, Hulkenberg was deemed to have “committed a violation under red flags during qualifying” and was given a three-place grid penalty which demotes him to starting fifth.

(Photo by The Hindu)


Q3 was red flagged after Aussie Oscar Piastri spun at the exit of turn 7 and went into the barriers, with the stewards claiming Hulkenberg did not significantly slow down enough after the red flag was shown when setting his time.


The demotion of the Haas driver benefits Fernando Alonso, with the Aston Martin driver now starting on the front row next to Verstappen in a repeat of last year’s front row.


The lap from Verstappen to take pole was as dominant as you would expect from the reigning two-time Champion, with his time a whopping 1.244 seconds ahead of Hulkenberg. His main title rival, teammate Sergio Perez, struggled once again and will start in 12th.


Mercedes once again showed pace, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell now starting third and fourth on the grid after initially qualifying in fourth and fifh.


Behind them it was another strong qualifying for Esteban Ocon with the Frenchman starting sixth, ahead of Lando Norris, Piastri and the impressive Alex Albon who put in another great performance for Williams to start ninth.


It was another qualifying to forget for Ferrari. Carlos Sainz qualified in eigth, but will drop three places to 11th after impeding the Alpine of Pierre Gasly in Q1. Teammate Charles Leclerc struglled in the conditions and failed to make it out of Q2, but will start 10th after being bumped up from his original spot of 11th due to Sainz’s penalty.


Lance Stroll will also drop three spots on the grid after being found guilty of impeding Ocon, putting the home town hero down in 16th for the race. Yuki Tsunoda also will drop three places for impeding Hulkenberg and will now start 19th.


With dry conditions expected for the race, all eyes will be on Verstappen as he aims to keep Red Bull’s perfect season alive with his fourth consecutive win and seventh for the season. The race begins at 4am AEST tomorrow.


QUALIFYING TIMES

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 1:25.858 2 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +1.244 3 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.428 4 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +1.769 5 George RUSSELL Mercedes +2.035 6 Esteban OCON Alpine +2.087 7 Lando NORRIS McLaren +2.188 8 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +3.436 9 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +5.491 10 Alex ALBON Williams NO TIME 11 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:20.615 12 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +0.344 13 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.869 14 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +1.063 15 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +1.206 16 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri 1:22.746 17 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.140 18 Nyck DE VRIES AlphaTauri +0.391 19 Logan SARGEANT Williams +0.591 20 ZHOU Guanyu Alfa Romeo +0.596


This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here

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