Nico Rosberg has taken his second pole position in succession, and his third this season, in Montreal ahead of tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton ensured a Mercedes front row lock-out, and missed out on pole by just 0.079 seconds. Unlike in Monaco however, there was no controversy, with Rosberg prevailing in a straight fight between the pair.
Hamilton had picked up where he had left off in final practice, by topping both Q1 and Q2. But a small lock up in the final moments of Q3 meant it was Rosberg who will start from pole. The current championship leader set the initial pace in the final session, before going even faster on his second run to post a 1:14.874 lap time.
Behind the two Mercedes cars is Sebastian Vettel. The reigning champion had looked to be struggling, and was off the pace of team mate Daniel Ricciardo for most the session. Indeed, he came close to being eliminated in Q2, but survived to post an excellent lap in the final seconds of Q3. Ricciardo will start from sixth on the grid.
Before Vettel’s improvement, it looked like Williams would be the best of the rest. Both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas showed good speed throughout qualifying. They had briefly made it a Williams 1-2 in the second part of qualifying, before Hamilton and Rosberg went even faster.
Bottas, who memorably starred in a wet qualifying session last year will start tomorrow’s race from fourth position, with Massa in fifth. The Brazilian’s former team mate, Alonso, is the best of the Ferraris in seventh, ahead of Jean Eric Vergne and Jenson Button, with Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the top ten.
Both Force Indias missed out on the top ten, with Hulkenberg the better placed of the two in eleventh. Kevin Magnussen split the Force Indias with twelfth, with Sergio Perez thirteenth after spinning early on. Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat and Adrian Sutil completed the list of drivers failing to make it through to the final part of qualifying.
Pastor Maldonado failed to progress beyond Q1 for the sixth time in seven events as his Lotus stopped on circuit with a mechanical problem. Max Chilton got the better of Monaco Grand Prix star Jules Bianchi for eighteenth, with Kamui Kobayashi the best of the Caterhams in twentieth.
Kobayashi’s team mate Marcus Ericsson crashed in Q1 for the second race in a row. The Swede brought out the red flags with just sixteen seconds of the session remaining after hitting the wall at turn nine. Meanwhile, Esteban Gutierrez took no part in qualifying following his accident in the final practice session earlier in the day.