Sebastian Vettel says building his confidence after a scrappy Friday was the key to securing his first pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since 2013. He sits sixth in the standings some 75 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton and with less than half the number of his Australian Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Again, Kimi Raikkonen led the Ferrari charge in second place, but Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo, who missed a large chunk of FP2 as mechanics rushed to fix a mechanical problem, was able to end the day third.
Verstappen has come under increasing pressure after a series of incidents at the opening rounds of the season and in Monaco he missed qualifying - and a shot at victory - after a crash in final practice.
Vettel, meanwhile, was forced to miss the start of FP2 after lengthy set-up changes were made to his auto, and he conceded that Ferrari have work to do ahead of qualifying.
Red Bull have chosen to start the race on the fastest but most fragile "hyper-soft" tyre, while both Mercedes and Ferrari chose to go through second qualifying, which defines the race-start tyre, on the more durable ultra-soft. On a track like this when you have to attack kerbs so much it's important you feel at home and have confidence to play around and I think then you can extract a bit more from the auto.
Grosjean's qualifying lasted only a few seconds. I guess it's just a little bit more finesse.
"But today we switched on".
Romain Grosjean's Haas smoked heavily as it left the garage and the team was unable to get the auto back out which meant the Frenchman was immediately out of qualifying and will have to start from the back of the grid barring any other penalties elsewhere. Of course it hasn't being going that well in the way I like it.
Fernando Alonso would have hoped to make Q3 in his 300th Grand Prix weekend, but he had to settle for P14 after finishing Q2 more than a second off the pace.
But the two-time champion, and indeed his British team, had little to toast on Saturday after a thoroughly underwhelming performance.
It has been another weekend to forget for Williams, too. With hometown hero Lance Stroll and rookie Sergey Sirotkin rooted to the bottom of the timesheets and high-profile team personnel being axed, it doesn't look like things will begin to improve any time soon for the once great team.
The Dutch driver has endured a hard start to the season after being involved in incidents at every race so far in the 2018 season.
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