While Lewis Hamilton was second quickest in the morning, just 0.088s off Max Verstappen's pace, and fourth in the afternoon, 0.579s of the Dutchman's best, the fact is that in neither session did the Briton or his teammate run the hypersoft tyres, unlike their rivals.
F1's stricter engine rules for 2018 have limited the components each driver can use per season and Ricciardo's issue in Monaco, plus a problem with the same engine part during a practice session ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, had left Red Bull fearing he would have to move on to a third MGU-K in Montreal - an automatic 10-place grid penalty.
"We are not there yet and we need a little more time to get it all together, but I expect we will be there tomorrow (Saturday for qualifying)".
When it comes to the twisty stuff, 11 of the 14 corners are taken below 100 miles per hour, which makes it particularly hard on the brakes and tires when the cars are coming from the high-speed straights. We knew in Q3 it would be a bit harder for us but to be still so close was good.
"Our long runs were really good".
When asked if he felt Red Bull had the pace for pole after seeing teammate Daniel Ricciardo go quickest in Q2, he said: "I knew we had a good vehicle, but I wanted to wait and see how competitive we would be in Q3". In my final lap I had a small mistake otherwise I think there was a little bit more.
"From our testing we had in Abu Dhabi [last December] particularly, that's what led us to the decisions we made and we stick with those". The auto all weekend has been really strong, every session we made progress with the vehicle and I'm feeling confident on the track. I just do my own thing.
In a closely-fought qualifying session amongst the top three teams, Vettel rose above the parapet to clinch his 54th pole position, beating Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to the top spot by less than a tenth of a second.
"Because people tried to stay out of his way they all braked, and went really slow in a fast bit of the track to let him past". Obviously if something happens in practice then we will probably have to take one, but no is the answer today.
"If we had brought the engine upgrade it would have been an advantage". The same applies for our competitors. It didn't make any difference to him ultimately, mind, going through P4. A year later, he won the Spanish Grand Prix and became the youngest victor in F1 history.