Vettel confident of good result, but faces impossible task to beat Mercedes

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Defending Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, but has admitted that a first win of the season is unlikely due to Mercedes’ clear straight-line speed advantage.

Mercedes-powered cars have excelled so far this season, whilst Red Bull – powered by Renault – has struggled. At the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the long straights and heavy braking zones mean that the advantage lies with the teams that have a better top speed.

Nevertheless, Vettel is feeling confident that he can secure a good finish, having won last year’s race and finished second in 2011.

“This year we are a bit down on power still so it will be difficult to match the Mercedes powered cars down the straights,” he explained. “But there are also some corners here and they’ve been good for us. We were in a good position in 2011 to win the race and we won here last year. I think we have reason to be confident but we know that [it won’t be easy].”

Vettel was happy to accept that Mercedes will once again be the team to beat in Canada, but he thinks that it might be closer than expected thanks to Red Bull’s advantage through the corners.

“Obviously we know they [Mercedes] have a very strong package a strong car and strong power unit,” he said. “How exactly it will pan out is difficult to say. We have to look after ourselves and do our best.

“The corners are very tricky and demanding here and you can make up a lot of time in the corners. Of course we will try and do our best down the straight but we’ll try at the corners.”

The German driver will hope to bounce back from his retirement in Monaco with a strong result, and a podium finish is certainly possible in Montreal this weekend.

Formula 1: Ricciardo on Monaco pole, Verstappen to start last

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Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.

And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.

Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.

Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.