The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team were once again the class of the field in Montreal as Nico Rosberg took his third pole position of the season, closely followed by team-mate Lewis Hamilton in second.
Rosberg took pole position with a lap time of 1:14.874s and was happy to claim another pole for the team, but expects the race to be tough against his team-mate. He feels the car has improved a lot since opening practice.
“It’s been a great weekend so far and I’m really pleased with how I have been able to improve my set-up from session to session,” said Rosberg. “Even before Qualifying we made some quite big changes and they worked out perfectly. So I am very happy with starting from pole tomorrow. That was very important as there aren’t many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car.
“I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big in Qualifying today and also on our long runs on Friday were strong. This is a such a good track here in Montreal and the fans create a special atmosphere so I hope we can put on a great race tomorrow for them.”
Hamilton was only 0.079s back from his team-mate but felt that Rosberg deserved the pole position after having a clean run, something that Hamilton failed to do as he made some tiny mistakes on his best lap.
”Nico did a fantastic lap but it wasn’t the greatest qualifying session for me because I went wide a couple of times on my lap, in turns six and eight,” said Hamilton. “It was very close, with just eight hundredths of a second in it, but Nico did the better job this afternoon. It’s great for the team that we have a one-two on the grid but I am expecting it to be a tough race: it’s not that easy to overtake here, especially in the same car and with Nico being so close on pace.
“I will do what I can tomorrow and we will be trying to score as many points as we can. I also want to say something about this amazing weekend in Canada. It’s one of the best races of the year, especially because of the fantastic fans who make the atmosphere something special. We love coming here and I hope we can put on a great race tomorrow.”
Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff was delighted to see both Rosberg and Hamilton pushing each other again in Canada. He saw how the German and the Briton were working to try and beat the other, and Wolff is hopeful that the unbeaten start to the season for the team will continue with a win in Montreal.
”It was a really exciting qualifying session, seeing how closely the two drivers were matching each other all the way through,” said Wolff. “They are pushing each other so hard and, between every part of qualifying, they were looking at overlays of their laps, checking the data and trying to find every little advantage.
“Nico delivered a perfect Q3 and actually did two laps fast enough for pole position. Lewis lost some time in the middle sector of his final lap and finished less than a tenth behind, which just goes to show there is no room for error when two drivers are fighting on such a high level. It feels like the other teams will give us a hard run tomorrow so it won’t be an easy race. But the priority, like always, is to make sure a Silver Arrow wins.”