Sebastian Vettel no longer felt like 'a passenger' in his Ferrari

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Vettel was never threatened from pole, leading easily off the line and nailing his sole pit stop to ensure he cruised past the checkered flag first.

"I think after a long stretch Ferrari didn't win here, I saw people around and they were super happy". I don't think anyone wants to be cheated of that. I couldn't find the rhythm, I wasn't happy with the vehicle.

Before the race on Sunday, the vehicle Villeneuve used in 1978 will be driven by his 47-year-old son Jacques, the 1997 world champion, to lead the ceremonial parade lap.

Lewis Hamilton expects Ferrari to falter in the world championship battle and says Mercedes need to keep the pressure on the Scuderia.

That form then carried into Sunday as he led the field away from pole position at the race start.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, under pressure to clean up his act after a string of crashes and costly errors, has clocked the fastest time in both free practice sessions for the Canadian Grand Prix.

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Lewis Hamilton complained of intermittent power loss from fourth place, and with Daniel Ricciardo - who had jumped Kimi Raikkonen for fifth, bearing down on him, the Mercedes driver was recalled to the pits for an early tire change and to add some cooling to the auto.

Vettel set the pace throughout the Q3 top 10 shootout, posting a time of 1m10.776s on his first run to take top spot. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes vehicle with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes.

Hamilton's bid for a record-equalling seventh victory in Montreal was compromised from the start of the race with his engine suffering from cooling problems.

The Finn added: "It's always annoying when it's so close and we're not ahead - but starting on the front row is good for this race". Ferrari have not won the drivers' championship since 2007 when it was Kimi Räikkönen who claimed the title for them and after Vettel's previous victories in Australia and Bahrain, this result gives great impetus to their attempt to end the drought.

Daniel Ricciardo was in P4 after keeping Hamilton off his tail.

The likely reason is, at the first race the pink-striped Pirelli was used two weeks ago in Monaco, Red Bull was the only team to really extract a good race pace from it without suffering from too much graining or degradation.

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