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Mercedes' Russell grabs pole for Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen

George Russell edged Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen to take pole position in a thrilling qualifying session Saturday at the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Russell and Verstappen posted an identical lap of one minute 12.000 seconds, but the Mercedes driver secured his spot at the front of the grid in Sunday's race for setting the time first.

It's the 26-year-old Russell's second career pole.

McLaren's Lando Norris finished third (1:12.021) and Montreal's Lance Stroll was ninth for Aston Martin. Seven-time Canadian GP winner Lewis Hamilton placed seventh, qualifying outside the top five for the first time in Montreal.

In a shocking development, both Ferraris failed to reach the third qualifying session (Q3) for the first time since 2021.

Charles Leclerc, who won the Monaco GP two weeks ago, will start the race in 11th while teammate Carlos Sainz begins in 12th after their elimination in Q2.

Ain't no way...<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CanadianGP</a> <a href=""></a>

Earlier, Red Bull's Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q1 for the second race in a row and will start in 16th on Sunday. Perez signed an extension through 2026 on Tuesday.

After a wild, stormy Friday in Montreal, the mix of sun and clouds made for more favourable conditions Saturday. The rain rolled in briefly before qualifying but subsided. It remained a risk throughout qualifying but didn't significantly impact the session.

Verstappen won the pole last year and led every lap of the race in a dominant victory.

The Canadian GP is the ninth