Lewis Hamilton acknowledges the 44th pole of his career
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Canadian GP on Saturday ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
The world champion overcame an accident-prone Friday practice and a troublesome final session on Saturday morning to take his fourth pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The driver of the number 44 Mercedes also secured the 44th of his career.
Hamilton and Rosberg traded times throughout the hour, with the latter 0.006s quicker in the first session and Hamilton shading it by 0.012s in Q2.
It was nip-and-tuck stuff in Q3 as well but Hamilton upped his pace in the final session with a lap of 1:14.393 around the 4.361km track. None of the frontrunners could improve their times on their final 'flying laps', meaning that Rosberg stayed 0.309s adrift.
Kimi Raikkonen will lined up third on the grid but Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel will be down in 15th place after an early exit. The four-time champion suffered engine problems in Q1 and although he made it out in the closing minutes, was down on power.
Raikkonen starts alongside countryman Valtteri Bottas, who helped Williams forget their disappointing performance in Monaco with the fourth fastest time.
Much like Vettel, however, team-mate Felipe Massa was a Q1 casualty, with the Brazilian also suffering engines problems and lining up 16th.
Next up were the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, in what was by far and away the team’s best qualifying performance of the season so far.
Grosjean was fastest of all in Q1 after – unlike the Mercedes cars – he switched to the option supersoft tyre and the Frenchman regularly ran in the top three during the session.
And confirmation on a power hungry-track that Mercedes still lead their rivals in that regard came with Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh place in his Force India.
Team-mate Sergio Perez starts 10th, with the pair sandwiching the Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo – last year’s winner outqualified by his team-mate.
The Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen were 11th and 12th fastest, although the penalties the 17-year-old Dutch driver has picked up means that he must start at the back of the grid.
Verstappen will therefore be alongside Jenson Button, who did not take part in qualifying after an engine failure in final practice left McLaren-Honda with too little time to change the power unit.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso lines up 13th on the grid, between Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, with Manor Marussia's Roberto Merhi again faster than team-mate Will Stevens.