Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position with a new Track Record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. We take a look at all the stats and stories from Saturday at the Canadian Grand Prix!
Q U A L I F Y I N G R E C A P
- Vettel storms to first pole in 17 races
- Ricciardo impresses with fourth
- Bottas only sixth on the grid
- Magnussen crashes out in Q2, Verstappen also eliminated as a result
- Both McLarens reach Q3 for second time this year
- Raikkonen eliminated in Q1 for first time since Austria 2015
The Ultimate Pace
Lewis Hamilton was fastest of any driver in the first sectors, but Ferrari – and Sebastian Vettel in particular made the difference in the final sector. While Hamilton was 0.034 seconds faster than Vettel in Sector 1 and 0.049 seconds faster than Charles Leclerc in Sector 2, Vettel set the fastest time through Sector 3 by almost two tenths and was 0.234 seconds faster than the closest Mercedes through that part of the track. Adding the best three sector times together gives a lap time just under a tenth faster than Vettel’s actual pole lap time.
By adding each drivers’ best three sector times together, we can get an idea of who put a lap together when it mattered, and who failed to pull all three sectors into one fast lap. Robert Kubica was the only driver to deliver all three of his best sector times on his fastest qualifying lap – though this only gave a time which was almost eight tenths slower than team-mate George Russell’s actual qualifying time. Vettel’s pole lap was close to his best potential time – he set personal bests in the first two sectors on his pole lap but lost a fraction of time in Sector 3, meaning his actual lap was 0.007 seconds slower than his best potential time. Interestingly, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo’s best potential lap times were the exact same – a 1:10.970. The lap times are compared in the table below.
|Qualified||Driver||Qualifying Time||Ultimate Pace||Difference||Ultimate Pace Position|
The team-mate battles
Based on Q1 lap times, the closest team-mate battle in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix looked set to be at Haas, where Kevin Magnussen lapped just two thousandths quicker than Romain Grosjean. Magnussen’s Q2-ending crash meant that team-mate Grosjean was unable to get a lap time in during the second session after making a mistake on his first attempt. This left the Frenchman qualifying in fifteenth and Magnussen unable to take part in Q3. The largest gap between team-mates in a session was at McLaren, where Lando Norris qualified over two seconds faster than Carlos Sainz in Q3. Sainz had been faster than Norris in both Q1 and Q2, and, set a faster time than his team-mate in all three sectors during the qualifying hour. The Spaniard failed to put a fast lap together when it mattered in Q3, allowing Norris to out-qualify him for the fourth time this year.
Largest gaps in each session:
Q1: George Russell 0.776s faster than Robert Kubica
Q2: Pierre Gasly 0.604s faster than Max Verstappen
Q3: Lando Norris 2.118s faster than Carlos Sainz
Gap between team-mates in last session where each driver set a time:
Looking at each driver’s ultimate pace also offers an interesting glimpse into who was fastest in each sector in each team. The results can be found in the table below. Despite being out-qualified by their team-mates, Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Alexander Albon all had better potential lap times than the drivers in the other side of the garage:
Find all the team-mate battle statistics for the 2019 season here!
As discussed earlier, it was the final sector where Ferrari gained time on Mercedes. Renault were today’s third fastest team. Though Red Bull were third fastest through the first and second sectors, they were beaten by both Renault and McLaren in the final part of the lap, the difference being enough to put Renault ahead overall. Further back, Racing Point were the second-slowest team in every sector, aside from the final sector where they were sixth quickest. For the seventh time in seven races, Williams were the slowest team in all three sectors – their best potential lap times being over three seconds off the pace of the polesitter.
|GAP TO POLE|
About the above table: the ‘gap to ultimate pace’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the overall best three sector times added together. The ‘gap to pole time’ column shows the gap between the team’s best three sector times added together and the lap time of the polesitter.
Improvements between 2018 and 2019
McLaren were the most improved team since last season, with their best potential lap being 1.320 seconds faster than their best potential lap time in 2018. Every team except Red Bull and Williams were ultimately faster than they were last season at the Canadian Grand Prix. You can see the full data below:
All set for Sunday:
Could this be a turning point of the 2019 season for Ferrari, or is it another false dawn? The run down to Turn 1 between Vettel, Hamilton and Leclerc will be fascinating. Behind that, what will Daniel Ricciardo be able to do from fourth on the grid? It’s Renault’s best qualifying position since Japan 2010! Both Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen are starting within the top ten but are out of position, which should give us some good action in the opening stages as the pair fight through the pack to get back to the front. Further back, Kevin Magnussen will be starting from the pit-lane following his Q2 crash – what will he be able to do from there? It looks set to be a very interesting Sunday afternoon in Montreal!
In the Lucky and Unlucky Grid Positions:
Pole: Sebastian Vettel
4th: Daniel Ricciardo
6th: Valtteri Bottas
7th: Nico Hulkenberg[/one_half]
5th: Pierre Gasly
12th: Antonio Giovinazzi
16th: Kimi Raikkonen
17th: Lance Stroll
19th: Robert Kubica[/one_half_last]
Find out what makes each grid position lucky or unlucky here!
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.