Sebastian Vettel takes pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel set a course record in qualifying on Saturday to win pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel powered his Ferrari around the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in one minute 10.776 seconds.

The German will start in the favoured position on the front row of the grid for Sunday's race alongside Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton, who ended a run of three straight Canadian poles, were third and fourth respectively.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fifth while Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, coming off a win from pole position two weeks ago in Monaco, was sixth fastest.

Vettel won his fourth Canadian Grand Prix pole. 

He also won it in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Before qualifying, Verstappen had posted the fastest lap in all three practice sessions.

The lone Canadian driver Lance Stroll of Montreal saw his early-season woes continue with a 17th place finish in the first 20-minute qualifying session, to leave him in the next-to-last row on the race starting grid. 

Teammate Sergey Sorotkin, Romain Grosjean of Haas, Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and Toro Rossi's Pierre Gasly also failed to advance to the second stage.

Grosjean's qualifying lasted only a few seconds. The French driver was headed for the track from pit lane when his engine blew in a cloud of smoke. 

"That's it,'' a crew member told him over the radio. Grosjean will likely start the race at the back of the grid.

The second 15-minute qualifying dropped McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, Sauber's Charles Leclerc, Toro Rossi's Brendon Hartley and Kevin Magnussen of Haas.