Vettel ‘full of adrenaline’ after cracking pole in Canada

Sebastian Vettel was celebrating on Saturday evening after clinching his first pole position of the season with a last push in qualifying for the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver’s last-gasp push clocked in at 1:10.240s, which was 0.206s quicker than the lap just recorded by Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

The last time that Vettel was on pole was at his home race in 2018, nearly a year ago.

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“Very happy, very happy for the team, because the last few weeks – the last 17 races! – the last weeks have been quite tough for us.

“He is bloody good in qualifying, hard to crack,” Vettel said when asked why it had been so long since he’d been able to beat Hamilton to pole.

The 31-year-old admitted that he was “full of adrenaline” after achieving the top spot in Montreal, where he’s previously been a two-time race winner.

“You know the feeling in the car when it just keeps coming and you feel the grip and then you go for it?” he explained. “That was one of those laps. It was really, really, really nice. I really enjoyed it.

It’s been a big recovery for Vettel and for Ferrari after they started the weekend well off the pace in Friday’s morning practice session.

“It was awful,” he said of his initial long run pace. “Today the car was a lot better, so we take that into tomorrow.

“Obviously we avoid the red tyre, the tyre in the race tomorrow,” he added after Ferrari successfully made it through Q2 on the medium compound. That’s the tyre they will start the race on, following by a longer second stint on the hard compound.

Even so, victory in tomorrow’s race – when temperatures are expected to be even hotter than they were for Saturday’s qualifying session – is far from assured.

Vettel knows he will face stiff competition, not only from Hamilton but also his own team mate Charles Leclerc who will start immediately behind him on the grid from third place.

“These guys will be very quick over the distance, but we’ll try everything,” he said.

For his own part, Leclerc congratulated the four-time world champion on his qualifying success – but made it clear he had designs on taking the win in the race.

“Congratulations to Seb, he deserves it,” said the Monegasque driver. “Hopefully I’ll have a better race from my side tomorrow.

“We are quite strong on the long run pace and hopefully tomorrow will be the same and we can have a good run from there,” he added.

Leclerc explained why he hadn’t been able to challenge for pole himself, and had fallen short of securing a Ferrari front row lock-out for Sunday.

“I struggled with the car I think – with the set-up, maybe” he said. “I felt quite good with Q1 but then I didn’t really keep up the track the more it got better.

“I needed to work on that, on the set-up, and try and draw the right set-up for the final Q3 time, which I struggled with today in Q3.”

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