Sebastian Vettel achieved his 39th career pole position in Formula 1 by beating Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a wet qualifying session.
And yet the star of qualifying was Valtteri Bottas. The Finnish driver produced a fantastic job for Williams with third.
The amount of rain played a significant part throughout each segment, and in the all-important Q3, the best opportunity for pole position came in the opening moments before the track conditions deteriorated further.
Vettel judged it to perfection and recorded a time of one minute, 25.425 seconds to take the top spot for Red Bull Racing.
Despite that lap time from the world champion, it was still beatable with his rivals going quicker in the first two sectors.
But with the rain becoming heavier especially at the final sector, a lack of grip made it difficult for the others to beat Vettel’s pole time.
Hamilton tried his utmost to continue the Silver Arrows pole streak but fell 0.087 seconds short, sliding over the chicane on a dramatic final bid.
Bottas was the hero of qualifying. Williams had not made it into Q3 at all this season until Canada, where the Finnish rookie flew throughout the session.
He beat Nico Rosberg, dominant in qualifying for Mercedes for the last three races, to third place.
Friday practice pacesetter Fernando Alonso could only manage sixth for Ferrari, behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull.
Toro Rosso managed to get both cars into Q3 with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo claiming seventh and tenth, split by Adrian Sutil’s Force India and Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.
As for Felipe Massa, he will start down in P16 after spinning into the Turn 3 barriers in Q2 and causing a red flag.
That triggered a two-minute dash on an improving track to try to secure the final Q3 places.
It was Sutil and Ricciardo who succeeded, but it proved painful for McLaren, winner of the last three Canadian Grands Prix.
Jenson Button was outside the cut at the time and mistimed his attempt to find clear track position, not making it past the chequered flag in time.
That left him P14, while team-mate Sergio Perez’s failure to improve meant he was pushed back to P14, alongside the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg.
Pastor Maldonado’s Williams and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez were the other Q2 casualties.
While Paul di Resta and Romain Grosjean did not even get that far as both were eliminated when the rain intensified in the closing minutes of Q1.
Grosjean, who already faces a ten-place grid penalty for running into Ricciardo in Monaco, had made a mistake on an earlier run, while di Resta lost time in the garage with gearbox issues.
Charles Pic looked like he might just replicate Caterham team-mate Giedo van der Garde’s Q2 heroics from Monaco as he sat P11 near the end of Q1. But after a spin at Turn 6, he slipped down to P18.
So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. His hat-trick of pole positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Can Red Bull Racing break that non-victory in North America on race day? We shall find out on Sunday in Montreal.
Qualifying positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.425s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.512s
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m25.897s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.008s
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.208s
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.504s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.543s
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m27.348s
9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m29.435s
10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.432s*
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.946s*
12. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.761s
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m29.917s
14. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.068s
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.315s
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m30.354s
17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.908s
18. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m25.626s
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m26.508s
21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.062s
22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m27.110s
22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.716s**
107 per cent time: 1m28.080s
*Two place grid penalty for failing to leave the pits in the order they arrived at the pit exit during Q2.
**Ten-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.