Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole under rainy conditions at Canadian Grand Prix

MONTREAL — Formula One leader Max Verstappen weathered the storm and drove his Red Bull into the pole position Saturday in qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old posted a lap of one minute 25.858 seconds on a wet track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to place first and secure his spot at the front of the grid in Sunday’s race.

It’s Verstappen’s fifth pole of the season. The Dutch driver is chasing a fourth straight win and his sixth overall this year.

Nico Hulkenberg surprised by finishing in second place as Haas will start in the front row for the first time. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was third.

Seven-time Canadian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton, who has never qualified outside the top-5 in Montreal, was fourth.

Click to play video: 'Grand Prix festivities kick off in Montreal'
Grand Prix festivities kick off in Montreal

Montreal-born driver Lance Stroll of Aston Martin advanced past the first round of qualification for the first time in five attempts at the circuit’s only Canadian stop, but fell out of the session in Q2.

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Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, ranked second and seventh in the standings, also failed to advance from Q2. It’s the second Grand Prix in a row that Leclerc hasn’t made the final round of qualifying.

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The session began without rain after showers throughout the day Saturday. But the precipitation returned and got heavier and heavier over the final 30 minutes.

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri slid off the track amid the tricky conditions to delay the final session.

Click to play video: 'Season leader Max Verstappen wins the Montreal Grand Prix'
Season leader Max Verstappen wins the Montreal Grand Prix

Verstappen, who won last year’s Canadian Grand Prix, leads the Formula One drivers’ standings with 170 points, 53 ahead of Perez.

Red Bull’s 287 points top the constructors’ standings, while Mercedes is second with 152.

After two days of showers, the rain could subside for Sunday’s race as the forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds.

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It’s the 52nd Canadian GP and the 45th anniversary of Gilles Villeneuve’s win when Montreal hosted for the first time in 1978.

No Canadian has won the race since.

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