Alpine’s Esteban Ocon was not impressed with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz after he felt as though the Ferrari driver re-joined the track dangerously after going off.
Sainz had just completed a fast lap in the first qualifying session, and looked as though he was pushing for another before he went straight on at Turn Three, and was left staring into the escape road.
The Spaniard eventually found reverse gear but, as he re-joined the track, he encountered Ocon, who himself was trying to set a fast lap.
The Frenchman was then inevitably held up by the 27-year-old, leading him to label Sainz a “mad man” for the way he came back on.
Ocon would eventually qualify seventh behind the outstanding Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen, while team-mate Fernando Alonso qualified second as he got onto the front row for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix of 2013.
The 40-year-old beat compatriot Sainz with an astonishing final run but, after Sergio Perez’s crash and Charles Leclerc’s grid penalty, the Ferrari driver is close enough to polesitter Max Verstappen to attack him in the battle for the win.
He would love to get his championship bid back on track by taking victory in Montreal on Sunday.
“That’s the target,” said Sainz.
“Today was… I was feeling quite okay with the car, especially with the full wet.
“As the track was drying, I felt like the others did a bit of a step and I was lacking a couple of tenths.
“In that lap, I was coming I think purple [sector] one, then sector two I knew I had lost a bit too much and in the last corner I just tried to do a very quick last corner, but it didn’t pay out and it cost me half a second.
“[I was] just trying to go for it, for the pole and in the end, I ended up P3 for that mistake but for the rest, I think we are in a good position for tomorrow.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight with Max up front and let’s see what we can do with Fernando because he’s been very quick all weekend.
“Let’s see how it goes.”
Alonso has out-qualified Ocon for the fifth time this season, taking the lead in the qualifying intra-team battle at Alpine with his sensational performance.