Max Verstappen sweeps Friday F1 practice in Montreal

Despite failing to carry over his pace from practice into qualifying, Verstappen has high hopes Red Bull will be just as strong in race trim versus Ferrari and Mercedes.

The title race remains finely balanced but Ferrari will take great encouragement from victory at a circuit where Mercedes have been dominant, with Hamilton taking pole and winning for the last three years in Montreal.

"It was a good race", he enthused.

It is the Italian team's first time on pole in Montreal since seven-time champion Michael Schumacher managed it in 2001. Finally returning to the top step is significant in indicating that they will take the fight to their rivals on the majority of tracks.

After clinching his fourth pole position of the season, Vettel was delighted with the response after a tough Friday practice in Canada.

Driver of the race: Sebastian Vettel looked completely in control from the moment the lights went out, but we're going to give this to a man who may one day be his teammate - Charles Lecerc scored another point for Sauber, managing a significant brake issue in the closing stages at one of the toughest circuits for braking on the calendar.

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As it turned out, Harlow's error had little impact on the race, although it did prompt an irritated radio message from radio message from race leader Sebastian Vettel. He converted his storming run for pole into victory with absolute precision. With a new engine upgrade fitted to Vettel's auto this weekend, Ferrari was expected to be one of the favourites in Canada but Vettel was not happy with his performance after he was restricted to just 17 laps in second practice due to vehicle issues at the start of the session.

Hamilton, who had a hard weekend, was unable to find the performance he wanted.

The third and only other retirement was a gutted Ferdinand Alonso when the McLaren driver had to take his vehicle back to the box in his 300th grand prix race after racing so very well.

"I think we have a really good vehicle".

His engine was six races old but Hamilton would have expected better. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have dominated the field this season.

There was joy for both Force India drivers, though, as they both made it to Q3 for the second race running, so Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez will start either side of ninth-placed Carlos Sainz.

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