MONTREAL (Reuters) - Red Bull’s Max Verstappen boosted his hopes of becoming Formula One’s youngest driver on pole position after completing his domination of Canadian Grand Prix practice on Saturday.
Under attack from all corners after a season littered with costly errors and crashes, the 20-year-old Dutch driver has not turned a wheel wrong so far in Montreal.
He dominated Friday’s two sessions and made the most of his upgraded Renault engine to complete the hat-trick on Saturday with a lap of one minute 11.599 seconds around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It was a far more polished performance than two weeks ago at the Monaco Grand Prix when Verstappen crashed in final practice and started the race from the back of grid.
Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo started from pole instead that Sunday, leading all the way to the finish in the sport’s glamour race.
Ferrari, looking for their first win in Montreal since 2004, flexed their muscles with Germany’s Sebastian Vettel posting the second best effort, followed by Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel holds the current record as youngest pole-sitter, doing so with Toro Rosso at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at the age of 21 years and 73 days.
Looming large with the fourth fastest time was Mercedes’ championship leader Lewis Hamilton, the winner of the last three races in Montreal who is chasing a record seventh Canadian Grand Prix pole.
The battle should be a tight and intriguing one, with the top four in final practice all within a tenth of a second of each other.
Not to be overlooked is Ricciardo, the last man to beat Hamilton to victory in Canada, who put down the fifth best effort ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
It was another disappointing day for Williams and young Canadian driver Lance Stroll, who once again found himself anchored at the bottom of the timesheet in 20th place.
Editing by Alan Baldwin