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Hamilton disappointed with Canadian GP pole lap, wary of Ferrari threat

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Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was disappointed with his pole position lap during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix despite heading up a Mercedes one-two in qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Hamilton posted a fastest lap of 1:12.812 to score his fifth pole position in Montreal and the 53rd of his F1 career on Saturday, edging out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by six-hundredths of a second in Q3.

Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg managed to improve their times with their second runs late in the session, allowing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to finish within two-tenths of a second in the final classification.

Hamilton was pleased with pole, but felt he could have gone much quicker after gapping the field by several tenths in practice on Friday.

“To be honest it doesn’t matter how far you are ahead, as long as you’re ahead,” Hamilton said.

“In practice there was a much bigger gap. Today, I just didn’t have the pace that I had yesterday, but it was enough.

“I think there was definitely more time in it, but it was great to see how close we all were. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow. It’s the best place to start, that’s for sure.”

Ferrari arrived in Montreal armed with several updates for its SF16-H car, including a new turbo on its power unit that has drawn it close to Mercedes.

“Ferrari have obviously picked up the pace with the upgrades they’ve brought on their car,” Hamilton said.

“This is a great track to test their ultimately speed. We’re excited to have the race with them. I think it should be exciting for the fans.

“Their long runs looked very strong. I don’t know if they were stronger than ours, but we shall see tomorrow.”

The Canadian Grand Prix is live on NBC and Live Extra from 1pm ET on Sunday.

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.