At a track he knows so well and has had such success at, Lewis Hamilton left the field trailing in his wake to claim his 54th pole position in F1, at the place he took his first in 2007. Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 3 in an eventful afternoon at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Qualifying was over for Kevin Magnussen before it had even begun, the Dane clattering the wall on the exit of Turn 7 in FP3 and destroying the front left side of his brilliant yellow Renault. His teammate, the under-fire Jolyon Palmer, also suffered today, going out in Q1, having a nasty moment at the Wall of Champions and nearly dropping it at the same place as Magnussen. Palmer claimed that the balance of the car was as good as it got for him, after really having a torrid time on Friday. Although, Rio Haryanto couldn’t avoid the unforgiving Montreal barriers, clattering his right rear after Turn 4. Nico Rosberg ended the session on top in his Mercedes.
Going into Q2, the incidents failed to cease. Carlos Sainz pushed his luck a little too far, tapping the Wall of Champions and dragging it down the grass and the concrete. After only one timed “warm-up” lap, his session and afternoon was over. The two McLaren Honda’s unsurprisingly struggled for power, whilst the whole field struggled to bring the Ultra-Soft compounds up to their ideal operating window. Fernando Alonso crept into the top 10 shootout, but Jenson Button fell foul to a lock up at the hairpin and missed out by a tenth. The Brit was optimistic about his chances tomorrow at the circuit he took his most famous and hard-fought win in 2011.
Sergio Perez, one of the stars of the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago, was knocked out by Force India team mate Nico Hulkenberg and back in their home continent, the two Haas cars of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean were knocked out.
No accidents in Q3, although Sebastian Vettel did admit to losing some of the lacquer on his right rear rim after brushing the Wall of Champions. It was a session dominated by the two Mercedes drivers, both Hamilton and Rosberg dipping well into the 1.12’s – Hamilton 6 tenths off of Ralf Schumacher’s Qualifying Record here in 2004. Vettel was the undisputed best of the rest, just getting into the “12’s” himself, and easily fending off the two Red Bull drivers and team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Early weather forecasts suggest that there is a threat of rain tomorrow, so get the anoraks and the Safety Car out – we can’t be too careful now.
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1.12.812
- Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1.12.874
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1.12.990
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1.13.166
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1.13.414
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1.13.579
- Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1.13.670
- Felipe Massa – Williams – 1.13.769
- Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1.13.952
- Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1.14.338
- Sergio Perez – Force India – 1.14.317
- Jenson Button – McLaren – 1.14.437
- Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1.14.457
- Esteban Gutierrez – Haas – 1.14.571
- Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1.14.803
- Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1.21.956 *
- Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1.15.459
- Pascal Wehrlein – Manor – 1.15.599
- Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1.15.635
- Felipe Nasr – Sauber – 1.16.663
- Rio Haryanto – Manor – 1.17.052
- Kevin Magnussen – Renault – NO TIME **
* – Sainz crashed in Q2
** – Magnussen crashed in FP3 and didn’t participate