Sebastian Vettel says ending a 17-race run without a Formula 1 pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix left him feeling “pure joy”.

The Ferrari driver claimed his first pole of the 2019 season - and his first since last year’s German Grand Prix - with an incredible late effort to beat Lewis Hamilton by 0.206s.

Vettel had sat second fastest after the opening runs in Q3 but turned in a stunning improvement to deny the Mercedes driver and current championship leader what would have been a record seventh pole in Montreal.

“A great day, it’s been a while, mostly for the team, the last couple of races have been quite tough,” Vettel said.

“So coming here and showing the stronger form than we have had in the last races was positive. We knew the track would suit us but still we have to do the job.

“The car felt better and better through qualifying, it was not easy with the interruption with the red flag. I’m still full adrenaline, I’m really happy, I really enjoyed it. I wish I could do it again, just for the fun of it.

“I had to pace myself a bit in the first two corners as getting the tyres to grip up wasn’t straight forward. But after that it was a joy after.

“The car was shouting keep going, keep going,” he added. “I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure if Lewis was improving, normally he is pretty handy around here - I wasn’t sure if it was enough.

“And then they screamed on radio - pole position. It was amazing. But it’s only half job, it’s a long race, difficult to fight and keep them off, but from where we start, it looks like a good race.”

Vettel said he had to risk a lot and get “very close to the walls” on his final run to ensure he gained as much time as possible.

“This is one of the tracks where you need to dare going very close to the walls in many of the places,” he explained.

“It is very bumpy, very rough. If you get it right, it feels great. I think got it quite right, then you finish the lap and you’re full of adrenaline.

“I saw I was a big chunk down and improving when I crossed the line. I didn’t know who was coming behind and then they screamed pole position, it was just pure joy.

“Mixed with adrenaline, I don’t know. I’m not a singer but I was screaming quite hard.”

Asked what his expectations had been coming into the weekend, Vettel replied: “Didn’t really have any to be honest.

“In last qualifying sessions we lost ground so I was hoping we could be quicker and closer as the gap was quite big.

“We had so many sessions where it was looking good at the last races – if you take Baku, you take Monaco, but then in qualifying, Mercedes and in particular Lewis seemed able to step up and we couldn’t keep up.

“I didn’t really expect that much. Just wanted to enjoy it, make sure my laps were alright. That was the case. To get pole, it is even the better.”



Loading Comments...