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Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2024

The history behind Russell and Verstappen's rare dead heat

For the first time in over 25 years, F1 qualifying ended as a dead heat for pole as George Russell and Max Verstappen set the same time in Canada.

Russell Verstappen
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell and Max Verstappen recorded a rare dead heat in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix - the first time since 1997 it has happened for pole position.

In Q3, Russell set a 1:12.000 effort on his first run, with Verstappen following suit with the exact same 1:12.000 on the second runs. 

However, as laid out in Article 39.4.A.iv of the sporting regulations, as Russell set the time first, he gets the place.

It is his second career pole position after the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, and just the 14th time in the history of the world championship there has been a recorded dead heat in qualifying. 

That is 1,110 races worth of qualifying. 

However, it must be said that the current timing system has not always been used.

In the early days of the world championship, timing was taken to the nearest second or to one decimal place, meaning some of the ties weren't actually that close by modern standards.

The three decimal places used today became uniform in 1982, and unsurprisingly dead heats in qualifying have only happened twice since.

One was Canada and the other was one of the most famous races in F1 history - where not two, but three drivers set the exact same time...

F1 races where qualifying ended in a dead heat

Race Driver 1 Driver 2 Time
1950 Belgium Giuseppe Farina Juan Manuel Fangio 4:37
1952 British Giuseppe Farina Alberto Ascari 1:50
1955 Monaco Juan Manuel Fangio Alberto Ascari 1:41.1
1956 British Stirling Moss Juan Manuel Fangio 1:41.0
1959 Dutch Jo Bonnier Jack Brabham 1:36.0
1959 British Jack Brabham Roy Salvadori 1:58.8
1961 Dutch Phil Hill Wolfgang von Trips 1:35.7
1961 British Phil Hill Richie Ginther 1:58.8
1968 Canadian Jochen Rindt Chris Amon 1:33.8
1970 British Jochen Rindt Jack Brabham 1:24.8
1971 British Clay Regazzoni Jackie Stewart 1:18.1
1974 British Niki Lauda Ronnie Peterson 1:19.7
1997 European Jacques Villeneuve Michael Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen 1:21.072
2024 Canada George Russell Max Verstappen 1:12.000

A dead heat in a race?

For the record, there has never been a dead heat in a world championship grand prix. 

The closest-ever finish was 0.01s at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix where Peter Gethin defeated Ronnie Peterson by one-hundreth of a second in the Monza slipstreaming classic.

The top five in that race were separated by 0.61s with Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood and Howden Ganley all within a second of Gethin. 

However, there has been a dead heat in a Formula 1 race.

That came at the 1967 Syacruse Grand Prix between Ferrari pair Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti. 

The only problem is that this was a non-world championship F1 race and so doesn't count towards the official statistics.

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