Russell takes pole in closely-fought Canada qualifying

George Russell and Max Verstappen set the exact same lap time in qualifying at Canada

Canadian Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images

George Russell will start from pole position for just the second time in his Formula 1 career after setting the pace in qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver set the exact same lap time (1:12.000) as Max Verstappen, but as Russell set his first he starts ahead of the current champion.

Lando Norris was just 0.021s behind the front row pair to secure third place ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri.

The drivers headed into qualifying being warned of an 80% risk of rain during the session, resulting in a queue of cars in the pitlane as everyone rushed to get out on the track while it was dry.

Q1 remained dry, but Lance Stroll came close to a crash at his home event as he twice clipped the Wall of Champions.

But even in the dry conditions, the cold track meant Sergio Perez was unable to find enough grip, and was a surprise exit in the first part of qualifying.

Ferrari had a similar issue in Q2, with both drivers struggling to find pace, costing Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc a spot in the top 10.

In Q3, Daniel Ricciardo found strong pace, outqualifying his teammate as he put his VCARB on the third row of the grid.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 George Russell (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Lando Norris (McLaren)

4. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

5. Daniel Ricciardo (VCARB)

6. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

8. Yuki Tsunoda (VCARB)

9. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

10. Alex Albon (Williams)

11. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

12. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

13. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

15. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

16. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

17. Valtteri Bottas (Sauber)

18. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)*

19. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

20. Guanyu Zhou (Sauber)

*Ocon has a 5-place grid penalty

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