Race Weekend Central

Mr. Saturday Returns as George Russell Squeaks Out Pole in Canada

George Russell and Max Verstappen set the exact same lap time around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Formula 1 qualifying at exactly one minute and 12 seconds flat.

But Russell won the pole because he set his lap time earlier in the session, just the second of his career and first in two years.

Verstappen had to settle for second, while Lando Norris was .021 seconds behind both in third.

“It feels so good,” Russell said in the podium interview. “So much hard work back in the factory has gone into this. We said it in Monaco, we hope this is the start of something for our season. And I think it is … I missed this feeling.”

There were no major incidents in all of qualifying.


Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Leader
1.63George RussellMercedes1:12:000m
2.1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPTTied
3.4Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes+0.000s
4.81Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes+0.000s
5.3Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT+0.178s
6.14Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes+0.228s
7.44Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.280s
8.22Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT+0.414s
9.18Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes+0.701s
10.23Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes+0.796s


A big surprise came in Q2, as both Ferrari drivers failed to make it into the second round.

One interesting note is that this isn’t just a watershed weekend for the Mercedes factory team — Logan Sargeant was the lone Mercedes-powered driver on the grid not to make it to Q3.

Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Advancing
11.16Charles LeclercFerrari+0.032s
12.55Carlos SainzFerrari+0.069s
13.2Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes+0.077s
14.20Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari+0.257s
15.10Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault+0.281s


There was rain that had washed away all the rubber from the track prior to this session. Although it was a dry session, air temperature was only 69 degrees, meaning that the cars became dramatically faster as the session went on and that rubber was laid back down and the track warmed up.

The big surprise of the session was that Sergio Perez failed to make it out of Q1, something Red Bull did not need as the constructor’s championship is nowhere near secure this year.

Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Advancing
16.11Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT+0.037s
17.77Valtteri BottasKICK Sauber Ferrari+0.077s
18.31Esteban OconAlpine Renault+0.146s
19.27Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari+0.689s
20.24Zhou GuanyuKICK Sauber Ferrari+1.003s

Lights out for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix will come at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage in the United States will be on ESPNNEWS and ESPN+. F1 TV will also have the race for subscribers to that service.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 20 years and regularly covered the sport from 2013-2021, and also formerly covered the SRX series from 2021-2023. He now covers the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and road course events in the NASCAR Cup Series.

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