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Hulkenberg joins Verstappen on front row in Montreal


Ahead of Q1 the air temperature is 16 degrees C, while the track temperature is 18 degrees. While it has stopped raining, there are expected to be further downpours over the next hour, while it remains cold and windy.

As is so often the case, Max Verstappen was quickest this morning, and though Charles Leclerc managed to close the gap the Dutchman appeared to have more - much more in reserve.

However, teammate Sergio Perez struggled, the Mexican a disappointing 17th as he struggled to get the best out of his tyres, this from one of the sport's true 'tyre whisperers'.

At Ferrari also it was a case of mixed fortunes for its drivers, with Carlos Sainz crashing out and also attracting the attention of the stewards after twice impeding Alex Albon at the same corner.

The crash leaves the Ferrari crew with a mountain of work between the sessions and it remains unclear if his gearbox was damaged.

Third quickest was Fernando Alonso, and the Spaniard will no doubt be hoping for a bit more rain this afternoon, as will Magnussen, who finished fourth, Tsunoda and Bottas.

While the FP3 order wasn't quite the 'reverse grid' that Ross Brawn dreamed of, something similar in just over an hour would be most welcome.

Lewis Hamilton was tenth quickest, and his teammate 15th, suggesting that the lack of enthusiasm yesterday was a sign that there is still much work to do, especially as conditions are a world away from Barcelona.

As light rain begins to fall, adding to the conundrum facing the teams is that tomorrow is expected to be dry.

To all intents and purposes, in circumstances like this it is very much a case of being in the lap of the Gods, though Max seemingly has plans of his own.

In the minutes before Q1, the stewards that no further action will be taken over Sainz' cases of impeding. There's more good news for the Spaniard as his crew has his car ready.

5 minutes before the start of the session, race control says there is 90% chance of rain.

The lights go green and Albon leads the way, followed by Sargeant, Bottas, Zhou, Alonso, Ocon and Norris.

"I have a problem," reports Zhou. "I have no drive, I've lost power."

A big, big wobble for Alonso as he exits the hairpin.

As a number of drivers start their first flying laps, Zhou parks up on the back straight just after Turn 7.

As anticipated, the session is red-flagged, with only three drivers - Sargeant, Albon and Bottas - have posted time.

Somehow, under the red flag, Zhou has got his car going again.

Meanwhile, de Vries has taken to the run-off at Turn 1 after locking-up.

Ahead of the restart, Verstappen heads the queue at the end of the pitlane, ahead of his teammate, Albon, Sargeant and the Ferraris.

"I might have made a mistake not taking more flap," says Sargeant.

"Are you sure the problem is fixed," asks Zhou as he ventures out.

All are on Inters by the way.

"Raining at Turn 2," reports Sargeant, as Gasly is told that his team think this session will remain dry.

Verstappen crosses the line at 24.106, while Perez can only manage 26.808.

Albon goes second (24.788), Hulkenberg third and Bottas fourth as de Vries has his time deleted.

Magnussen goes second (24.528), but is demoted when Alonso posts a 23.581.

Verstappen improves to 22.843, as Leclerc has his time deleted before the Ferrari driver posts an acceptable 23.396.

Alonso goes quickest (22.655) as Hamilton goes fourth, ahead of Ocon, Sainz and Perez.

Piastri improves to eighth as Perez appears unable to improve on his 24.321.

Hulkenberg goes fourth, ahead of his Haas teammate, however both are demoted when Norris goes third (23.126).

Another improvement for Verstappen who retakes the top spot with a 21.988.

Hamilton goes fourth (23.188), while his teammate remains 16th.

A 22.523 sees Leclerc go second.

Sainz goes fourth (23.016), as an incident involving Leclerc and Tsunoda has been noted.

Russell goes fourth with a 22.764, but is demoted when Norris stops the clock at 22.482.

Albon, Hulkenberg and Magnussen all pit for fresh Inters as Hamilton goes fourth.

With just under three minutes remaining, Stroll, de Vries, Tsunoda, Sargeant and Zhou comprise the drop zone, with Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Albon hovering.

"I have to come in, I can't see anything in my mirrors," reports Hamilton.

Norris goes second while Tsunoda can only manage 14th.

Hulkenberg improves to ninth and Magnussen 11th.

Stroll goes eighth, as his teammate retakes the top spot with a 21.583.

Magnussen goes quickest in S2, finally crossing the line at 22.351 to go eighth.

Alonso improves to 21.481, but Verstappen responds with a 20.851.

Perez goes seventh and Hamilton third, while Norris goes fifth and Piastri tenth.

A 21.938 sees Albon go sixth, while Sainz can only manage eleventh.

Another incident involving Tsunoda is under investigation, while Hamilton and Stroll almost come to grief at the hairpin.

Moments later, Sainz is causing problems once again at the final corner, this time for Gasly. The Frenchman is furious as it cost him the ability to progress to Q2.

"He should be banned for this... I'm coming at three hundred (km/h), what does he think...?" shouts the Alpine driver.

"It's ridiculous in a word," says Otmar Szafnauer of the Sainz move. "Just terrible. Pierre would have been P6, and now he is out in Q1, had he just had a normal third sector."

Quickest is Verstappen, ahead of Alonso, Hamilton, Russell, Leclerc, Albon, Norris, Ocon, Perez and Piastri.

We lose Tsunoda, Gasly, de Vries, Sargeant and Zhou.

Q2 gets underway, and once again Verstappen is first out, followed by Norris, Bottas, Perez and Alonso.

"We think this rain will be intermittent," Norris is told, "with the main front to come later."

While most have stuck with the Inters, Albon has opted for softs.

Verstappen posts a 20.135, while Stroll spins at Turn 6.

A 20.098 sees Russell go top, as Piastri goes third, ahead of Alonso, Leclerc and Sainz.

Albon can only manage 12th on those slicks (23.561).

That said, Verstappen switches to the red-banded rubber, ass does Bottas.

Albon goes quickest with a 19.471 as Verstappen reports rain at the hairpin.

Hamilton has his time deleted for exceeding the track limits at Turn 14.

Alonso goes second, 0.305s off Albon's pace.

The rain is clearly falling.

Albon consolidates his top spot with an 18.725, as Hamilton goes fifth.

Norris goes third, while Stroll can only manage 12th.

The majority of drivers have switched to softs but too late to make any difference, Albon's brave gamble clearly paying off.

Yet again, Sainz comes to a halt at the final corner.

"Heavier rain in two to three minutes," Leclerc is advised. The Ferrari driver is currently 11th.

Perez heads out on fresh Inters while Hamilton continues on slicks.

Leclerc, Perez, Stroll, Magnussen and Bottas comprise the drop zone, with Hamilton, Ocon and Hulkenberg hovering.

Besides having his time deleted, Leclerc is shown the black and white flag for failing to follow the race director's instructions.

A mistake at the final corner looks likely to cost Perez dearly.

Ocon claims he was impeded by Stroll.

Russell, Hamilton, Leclerc, Perez, Magnussen and Bottas have all switched back to Inters.

There are no improvements, as Leclerc rages that his tyres weren't ready.

Quickest is Albon, ahead of Verstappen, Norris, Piastri, Alonso, Sainz, Russell, Hulkenberg, Ocon and Hamilton.

A disaster for Leclerc and Perez, the Mexican having failed to make it into Q3 for the third successive race, and the Monegasque for the second.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Montreal here.


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