Vettel ends Ferrari's 17-year wait for Canada pole

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Scorching the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with the fastest times of the day will have that effect on a driver.

Verstappen clocked a best lap in one minute, 13.302 seconds, outpacing nearest rival, championship leader and defending four-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by 0.088 seconds. It was the best time in Friday afternoon's practice and a full second better than his best lap in the morning, when he was also the fastest.

The championship leader and defending champion said Mercedes had chosen to bring only five sets of the softest tyres for each auto instead of their rivals' eight sets.

"It was a hard qualifying", said Hamilton.

Verstappen's decision-making has been challenged following crashes at Baku, when he and Ricciardo took each other out of contention for the podium, and at Monaco, when the Dutchman missed qualifying after crashing at the end of the third practice session.

He added: "I get really exhausted of all the comments saying I should change my approach". 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.

His outlook had improved on Friday after leading in practice for the first time this year.

"Today we're not the favourites", Vettel said. "The vehicle was working well".

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With how close the top three teams are, Hamilton believes it could be a tough race to overtake but is aiming to do all he can to clinch a seventh race victory in Montreal which would tie him with the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Romain Grosjean squeezed Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa paid the price, and Sebastian Vettel dropped out of contention when he broke his front wing but used a two-stopper to race his way back up the field to fourth.

Despite that, Mercedes performed well in all three practice sessions followed by a superb effort from Bottas in qualifying.

Alonso qualified 14th, one place ahead of his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, to mark his worst grid position in Canada since his opening season at minnows Minardi in 2001.

"Would it have been enough to qualify for pole or Lewis to qualify on the front row we don't know but again it is one of the things that probably would have changed the overall outcome. The lap time, I can't say I'm too excited about".

Of the top six drivers, Sebastian Vettel appeared to be the one struggling most as he only completed 19 laps in the morning and only managed five more than that in the second session as Ferrari made setup changes to his auto. Sauber's Marcus Ericsson also had a spin that left him facing the wrong way on the track, but he straightened out and resumed. The Oxfordshire team have scored the fewest points of all this year, and Canadian teenager Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin could manage only 17th and 18th respectively.

"Usually the last sector is actually my strongest at this track but I was just struggling into turn 10".

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