Max Verstappen stormed to the 15th pole position of his F1 career with a dominant performance in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

With main title rival Charles Leclerc starting from the back of the grid due to engine penalties and teammate Sergio Perez crashing in Q2, his life was made significantly easier.

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Verstappen saw off Fernando Alonso - who scored his best qualifying result since 2012 - by a whopping 0.6s as he looks to extend his championship lead over Perez.

Red Bull have won the last five races in a row and they haven’t won six consecutive races since 2013 with Sebastian Vettel.

So, can anything stop Verstappen from running away with another victory?

The start

Realistically, the only thing that could stop Verstappen from winning - besides misfortune with reliability - is the start.

The Dutchman has the fast-starting Alonso alongside him on the grid, who has already vowed to attack into Turn 1.

Even if Verstappen was to lose the lead of the race to Alonso, it’s unlikely the Spaniard would be able to keep him behind based on recent races.

However, the Alpine does have great straight-line speed and Alonso is notorious for his impressive defensive manoeuvres. 

While a battle for the race victory is unlikely, Alonso could make it interesting at least and allow Carlos Sainz to get in the mix.

Despite his main rivals being out of the picture, Verstappen isn’t expecting a straightforward afternoon.

"I still expect it not to be a straightforward race," Verstappen said.

"But I think today, with the tricky conditions, we stayed calm, we didn't make mistakes, and we had the right calls in Q3.

"So, of course, [I'm] super happy with that, to get pole position here and also, to be back here in Montreal, it's been a while, and it's great to see all the fans."

How far can Leclerc and Perez recover?

While there could be little competition at the front for the race victory, it will be intriguing to see how much progress either Leclerc or Perez can make on race day.

Both drivers were knocked out in Q2 with Perez set to start from 13th while Leclerc will have to race from the back row.

The Mexican crashed midway through qualifying, locking up and clouting the barriers in the process.

Leclerc didn’t participate in Q2 as he was going to start from the back of the grid irrespective of where he qualified after taking new power unit components following his most recent retirement in Baku.

Ferrari and Red Bull have been in a league of their own this season so big points could still be on the cards for both drivers.

Red Bull’s straight-line advantage should give Perez a good chance of finding his way back into the points.

Leclerc will have a tougher time, particularly as he’s at the back of the grid, but there’s no reason why he can’t finish inside the top five - which is what Laurent Mekies says Ferrari are aiming for. 

Can Haas hang onto points?

Haas enjoyed their best qualifying outing as a team since joining F1 at the start of 2016 with two cars inside the top six.

Both Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher flourished in the changing conditions as the latter scored the best qualifying result of his F1 career so far.

After a promising start to the season with Magnussen finishing fifth, the season has tailed off for Haas, slipping to eighth in the constructors’ championship, level with Aston Martin.

With Sebastian Vettel’s renewed form, Haas could be set for a disappointing P9 finish in the constructors’ if they don’t turn their season around soon.

Granted, they - along with Williams - are one of two teams who haven’t introduced a significant upgrade yet.

“Yeah there’s some fast people at the back, and also right behind me, so I’m certainly not thinking that P5 is going to be our target tomorrow – we’ll take it if we can of course – but our car is around the middle of the field, pace-wise in the race, so we’re starting a little bit on the front foot as we’re P5, let’s see, I’ll be very happy if we start inside the top 10,” Magnussen said after qualifying.

Schumacher will be under pressure to score his maiden F1 points but it’s a must if he wants to show everyone he’s worthy of a place on the grid next season amid rumours surrounding his future.