Championship leader and defending champion Lewis Hamilton was down in fourth for Mercedes - his hopes of a fourth consecutive pole in Canada ended - ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari.
He added: "This is usually a track where warm-up is hard and the target is always moving, all the time".
"On Friday the auto balance was great into [Turn] 10".
Red Bull continued to suffer from lack of speed down the straights as they tried to put the pressure on Ferrari, but Vettel finished the session by knocking 12 milliseconds off his own best time.
"There are massive bumps into Turn 10".
"Our dad liked it and we got into it", said Colwin Whitaker a young Formula One fan. So constantly today going into that corner I was struggling to get the vehicle stopped, be it front locking or rear locking, so it was quite messy. The second approach, I found that little bit, and now I thought, 'OK, now I just have to repeat what I did before, ' but I struggled and I lost a little bit of time.
Hamilton will start from behind the front-row in Montreal for the first time in seven years. But P3 will be the time that we take it for a spin and have a look at it. Toro Rosso were a match for Haas on the long runs on Friday, and Hartley himself pulled out his best qualifying performance since Bahrain to leave himself in striking distance of the points.
Lewis Hamilton lost ground to his rivals in qualifying
When he brought his Ferrari out for qualifying a day later, his problems - and the rest of the field - were behind him.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, victorious in Monaco two weeks ago, was sixth in the second Red Bull as his team-mate Verstappen, who had been fastest throughout practice, continued to deliver a ideal riposte to his critics.
Asked on Wednesday evening in Montreal what he needed to do this weekend to avoid a repeat, Verstappen said: "Not hit the wall!"
"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".
"But it was a combination of things. Merc are going to be quick tomorrow - I would say they're the ones to beat at the moment". If I get a few more I will headbutt someone'. "And if it runs reliable, we'll do the whole weekend with it".
"The vehicle obviously has a weakness this year that we've already pointed out, which is a low-speed corner lack of grip", Boullier said.
Red Bull would have spent the weekend evaluating the upgrades from engine suppliers Renault and Honda with an eye to perhaps swapping to the latter next season.
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