Finally, Red Bull’s run of pole positions has ended! And Lewis Hamilton, very much the on-form man around the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve this weekend, prevailed to set the fastest overall time when it mattered to break the Milton Keynes’ squad’s utter domination of qualifying in 2010.
The 2008 Champion has clinched pole position at every appearance to-date on the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, and came from behind the snatch top spot from the Red Bulls in the dying seconds of the third and final qualifying stage.
Despite setting a very impressive 1:15.500 in the opening minutes of the last ten-minute sprint, both Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso managed to better the Briton’s time – what was interesting was that Webber’s time was set on the harder tyre compound, which could prove crucial on race day, as drivers must start on the tyre compound used to set their quickest lap times.
Hamilton’s initial attempt to retake pole position fell short, but he pulled out all stops and retook pole position with a margin of over a quarter of a second clear of his nearest rival.
Webber held onto second, just edging out his team-mate Sebastian Vettel by less than 0.05s, who wound up third-quickest.
Alonso finished up fourth-quickest, ahead of Jenson Button and Vitantonio Liuzzi went a long way to confounding his critics with a brilliant run to take sixth on the grid.
The men subject to much rumour (now closed) about their positions in their respective teams, Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica will share the fourth row. Adrian Sutil’s ninth-placed grid slot marked the first time that both Force India cars had featured in Q3 since the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg took the final spot in the top-ten shootout, as Mercedes GP capitulated in the all-important qualifying hour.
The biggest shock of the session was Michael Schumacher’s failure to make it into Q3 for the first time in his comeback. Despite being just four-tenths slower than his team-mate Rosberg in Q2, the gap equated to six places on the starting grid and he found himself shuffled down the order in the closing seconds of the session. An attempt to regain some places saw him make a mistake at the final chicane on his last run, and he was consigned to watch Q3 from the pit garages for the first time…
Continuing their relatively impressive form this weekend, the Williams duo of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hülkenberg will start from the sixth row, well ahead of the average grid position the rather lacklustre FW32 has tended to occupy.
Despite their much-improved showing at the last round in Turkey, it was a case of status quo for Sauber, who endured a miserable qualifying session, with Kamui Kobayashi knocked out in Q1 and team-mate Pedro de la Rosa slowest of all the seventeen remaining runners in Q2.
Lotus has cause for cheer when Heikki Kovalainen ran ahead of Kobayashi on the timesheets, eventually finishing just 0.2s slower than the Japanese driver as he headed the six-car rookie team battle for lower-order honours.
The lack of track time in the third practice session saw Karun Chandhok unsurprisingly occupy the last spot on the grid for Sunday’s race.
2010 Canadian GP Qualifying Times:
|2.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1:16.423||1:15.692||1:15.373|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing||1:16.129||1:15.556||1:15.420|
|6.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India||1:17.086||1:16.171||1:15.648|
|9.||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:16.495||1:16.295||1:15.881|
|10.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:16.350||1:16.001||1:16.071|
|13.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:16.598||1:16.492|
|15.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:17.356||1:16.928|
|16.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||1:17.027||1:17.029|
|17.||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber||1:17.611||1:17.384|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:18.941|
|23.||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||1:19.675|