Canadian GP: Sebastian Vettel thrilled with first pole of 2019
Sunday's race starts at 7.10pm live on Sky Sports F1 with Vettel sharing front-row with Hamilton and Leclerc just behind in third
By James Galloway in Montreal
Last Updated: 09/06/19 10:32am
Sebastian Vettel expressed delight at ending his long wait for another pole position and said Ferrari's Canadian GP return to form had served to break them out of a “tough” period.
Vettel stopped Mercedes' sequence of four front-row lockouts with his first pole since July 2018, a run of 17 races, with a final lap hailed as "outstanding" by Sky F1's Martin Brundle.
"A great day. It's been a while and mostly for the team I think the last couple of races have been quite tough," said Vettel of a team who are yet to win a race in 2019.
"So coming here and showing stronger form than we have in the last races is positive. We knew the track probably would suit us in a way, but still we have to do the job and the car felt better and better throughout qualifying."
Vettel and Ferrari had to come from behind in the decisive Q3 battles with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who had held provisional pole heading into the final laps.
After winning out by two tenths of a second, a beaming Vettel told Sky F1: "It was really coming alive and that's what you need around here: you need full confidence to hammer those kerbs and floor the pedal. It was just getting better.
"I could see that I was a lot faster already heading into the last corner and maybe I didn't go all-out in the last corner but I was able to just again go a little bit faster, which then proved to be enough.
"I really enjoyed the lap and it's a great feeling when it comes together like that, plus you get the result."
What happened to Leclerc?
The second Ferrari starts from third place, but Leclerc's promise around Montreal in practice and the early stages of qualifying faded badly in the final reckoning.
The 21-year-old made no excuses for his near-0.7s defict to Vettel.
"In Q1, the car felt quite good - then Q2 a bit worse and then Q3 it slipped away and I also did some mistakes," admitted Leclerc.
"So, yeah, I need to understand from where it comes to just try to anticipate the track evolution and have the car at its best in Q3. But yeah, it's my fault and I need to work on that to make it better."
The Monegasque escaped a grid penalty for not returning to the track the correct side of the bollard at Turn Nine, with stewards instead deleting the offending lap time from Q2.
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