Lewis Hamilton has recovered from an unconvincing final practice session to comfortably beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Englishman claimed his 44th career pole position in Formula 1 with a time of 1:14.393 on his final qualifying run around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal to finish three-tenths of a second clear of his teammate.
Countrymen Kimi Räikkönen and Valtteri Bottas claimed qualifying honours in their respective Ferrari and Williams entries to secure the second row of the grid; by contrast, their teammates Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa both exited from contention early on.
The poor showings for both drivers was the biggest surprise of qualifying. Vettel was stymied by an MGU-H problem in his Ferrari SF15-T, while Massa reported a lack of engine power in his Mercedes-powered Williams.
Lotus continued its excellent weekend by locking out the third row of the grid, with Romain Grosjean outpacing teammate Pastor Maldonado.
The Force India team also had its best qualifying performance of the season to-date. Nico Hülkenberg managed a season’s best seventh on the grid, while teammate Sergio Pérez finished tenth-fastest.
The two drivers sandwiched the Red Bull Racing entries of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, with the former managing a late improvement in Q3 to edge out the defending race-winner for eighth place on the grid. Ricciardo was the sole driver to complete just one timed run in the final session.
The two Toro Rosso drivers narrowly missed out making the Q3 cut. Carlos Sainz Jr finished eleventh-fastest ahead of fellow rookie Max Verstappen, although the Dutchman will start at the back of the field after being served with a combined 15-place grid penalty. As he will be unable to serve the entire grid drop in one hit, the Dutch teenager will have his misery compounded by having to serve a stop/go penalty at his first pit stop in Sunday’s race.
Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Fernando Alonso were the other drivers to run and be eliminated in Q2. The Sauber drivers sandwiched Alonso’s sole McLaren – the Spaniard’s teammate Jenson Button failed to run at all while an engine change was being performed.
The Manor Marussias predictably brought up the rear of the field, with Roberto Merhi managing to outqualify Will Stevens in their intra-team scrap.
Sunday’s 70-lap Canadian Grand Prix gets under way at 14:00 local time (GMT -4).
|Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2015 – Qualifying Results|
|Pos||Q3 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:14.393||21|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:14.702||+ 0.309||19|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:15.014||+ 0.621||19|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:15.102||+ 0.709||18|
|5.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:15.194||+ 0.801||20|
|6.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:15.329||+ 0.936||26|
|7.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:15.614||+ 1.221||21|
|8.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:16.079||+ 1.686||27|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:16.114||+ 1.721||23|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:16.336||+ 1.943||23|
|Pos||Q2 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap*||Laps|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:16.042||+ 1.381||19|
|12.||Max Verstappen^||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:16.245||+ 1.584||20|
|13.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:16.262||+ 1.601||20|
|14.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:16.276||+ 1.615||18|
|15.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:16.620||+ 1.959||18|
|Pos||Q1 Qualifiers||Team / Entry||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|16.||Sebastian Vettel^||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:17.344||+ 1.511||6|
|17.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:17.866||+ 2.033||9|
|18.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:19.133||+ 3.300||11|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:19.157||+ 3.324||10|
|Pos||Outside 107%||Team / Entry||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|DNQ.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||no time||0|
* Denotes gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:14.661 posted by Lewis Hamilton
** Denotes gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:15.833 posted by Romain Grosjean
- Max Verstappen penalised 5 grid places for causing a collision at the previous round, and a further 10 places for using his fifth engine of the season
- Sebastian Vettel penalised 5 grid places for passing another car under red flags during FP3.
Images via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas