Horner Encouraged by Red Bull’s Pace during Canadian GP Qualifying

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The semi-permanent track combines long straights with tight chicanes and each team sets up their vehicle to maximize straight line speed, although the cars also need to deliver a good ride over the relatively tall curbs.

"I don't know, I haven't seen much of the times of the others so it's hard to read yet".

On the basis of Friday practice, Sebastian Vettel does not see himself as a contender for victory even though Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen set the second fastest time. At the restart, Vettel had no trouble keeping Bottas and the hypersoft-tyred Verstappen at bay and promptly proceeded to pull out a gap.

The top three kept their positions from the start, with Vettel leading from pole position ahead of Bottas and Verstappen.

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Mercedes offered Hamilton the option of turning down his engine in the closing laps, but he declined, pressuring Ricciardo and getting to within a second of the Red Bull.

It was a short day for the lone Canadian on the track as Lance Stroll's Williams punctured a tire only a quarter of the way through the first lap into the race, causing the Montreal driver to slide across the crack and ram New Zealander Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso into a wall.

"It was a good race", he enthused.

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was second, in front of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. We knew that in Q3 and in general throughout the whole year with the vehicle, we're just lacking power.

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The teams contest a race with their own rafts, built from parts found in the garages, across the rowing lake on the island that hosts the circuit, but Ferrari said they would not take part because they needed to go back and rest in their hotel.

Hamilton retains a slim lead over Vettel in driver standings and will likely challenge the German when racing begins in earnest. Obviously, Max showed some pace, so I think there's a bit for us to learn. "I think we need a little bit more time to get everything together and then we'll see where we are".

The other ace up Red Bull's sleeve will be at the start when the hyper-soft compound should offer better traction off the line. That form then carried into Sunday as he led the field away from pole position at the race start.

"We got pole today for a reason", said Vettel.

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Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari and Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo are in the third row. "It will be very close again".

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