F1 Canadian Grand Prix 2024: George Russell Clinches Thrilling Pole Position in Montreal

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F1 Canadian Grand Prix

Mercedes has been suffering from a protracted drought. It is therefore not surprising that they savored the chance to quench their desire by making it to the Canadian Grand Prix, where George Russell tied Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s time for pole position by the narrowest of margins—actually, with no margin at all.

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Possibly the most nerve-wracking session of the year so far was this one. Russell finished first on the timesheets at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, matching Verstappen’s final lap time of 1 minute 12.000 seconds. But Russell took the pole away from the world champion since he set the time sooner.

F1 Canadian Grand Prix

The fact that the team was back on top was an accomplishment for one that has suffered significantly since the new restrictions in 2022, therefore neither Russell nor Mercedes bothered about how close it was. The team had not won since Russell captured the flag in Brazil in 2022, and this was their first pole since Hungary in 2023. Their finest attempt since then is the race on Sunday in Montreal, when the vehicle is exhibiting very outstanding pace.

They took a new front wing to Canada in an attempt to make a significant advancement after some recent minor enhancements, and it proved successful. Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton were thrilled to find a good ride beneath them as the vehicle demonstrated greater balance and was handled with more confidence than it had shown at any other point in the season. They were quite fast in the slower corners and, more importantly, in the straights into the chicane, where a lap can be made or broken by one’s ability to attack the curbs. Though he remained close to his teammate the entire way, Hamilton was unable to improve on his final run and finished in seventh position.

Nevertheless, there was a sincere sense that Mercedes could be improving.

“The car has felt good throughout every lap we’ve done this weekend,” Russell remarked. “We’re using the update for the first two races, and so far it’s looking terrific.

Over the last six months, we’ve been able to make our expectations for the car clear.I believe there’s much more to come, and time will tell if this performance holds up.

Toto Wolff, the principal of the Mercedes team, who is typically quite serious, was grinning as he said that they are now “heading in the right direction.”

After the rain earlier in the weekend, rubber was building up on the track, enhancing grip with each lap, thus timing was of the essence in this qualifying session. With the timer getting near, the advances in time persisted, and the final laps proved to be critical. Mercedes appeared to be the favorites for the first time in more than a year. This was a testament to their fall from grace—a team that was once dominant in the sport putting on an almost unknown display.

Russell had to perform on a challenging course, but he did so with amazing skill and poise despite the fact that they knew the car was good.

Verstappen started first in the first final run, but Russell and Hamilton passed him on the first few circuits, separating them by two tenths. Russell then passed Verstappen by three tenths, posting a time of 1 minute 12 seconds.

Verstappen returned on fresh tires, matching the British driver to the last thousandth of a second while launching the car into the first sector record. Russell accomplished enough, but he didn’t get any better. In fact, if he can hold onto his advantage until the first corner, it might be sufficient to give Mercedes a well-earned opportunity to win on Sunday, which they can relish.

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