2016 CANADIAN GP: HAMILTON ON POLE, FERRARI AHEAD OF RED BULL

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just six hundredths of a second to claim a fifth career Canadian Grand Prix pole position, putting him just one adrift of Michael Schumacher’s record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

After setting an impressive lap of 1:13.076 to top the list at the end of Q2, Hamilton ramped up the pace even further with his first run in Q3, lowering the benchmark to 1:12. 812. Rosberg followed almost immediately and while the German’s lap was similarly outstanding, he could not outpace his team-mate and so sat six hundredth behind in P2.

And when Rosberg locked up in Turn One of his second attempt the battle was over. Hamilton had secured his fifth career Canadian GP pole position. Afterwards the defending champion admitted that margin was tight but added that “it doesn’t matter how far you are ahead, as long as you are ahead”.

Rosberg, meanwhile, said that he had been pleased with his first run in Q3 and that in the race everything is possible.

After the first runs, third place was occupied by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen but on the final runs he was eclipsed to great laps, by team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who found two tenths of a lap over his first run to set a time of 1:13.166, two tenths ahead of Verstappen’s besty time of 1:13.414 and also by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who claimed third place on the grid. The German might have got closer but over the radio he told the team that he had lost traction out of the hairpin on his way to a lap of 1:12.990, making him the only non-works Mercedes driver to get below 1m 13s.

With Ricciardo fourth and Verstappen fifth for Red Bull, sixth place went to Kimi Raikkonen who only completed one run in Q3. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will make up an all-Williams row eight, while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the top ten. Earlier Q2 was halted almost as soon as it began when Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz crashed at the Wall of Champions.

Having only completed an out lap he would thus end the session in P16 and eliminated ahead of him from P15 up were Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez, Daniil Kvyat, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. Q1 ended under yellow flags as Manor’s Rio Haryanto hit the wall and sustained a punctuire that forced him to stop at Turn 12. That meant there could be no further improvements and eliminated at the end of the first session from P17 back were Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Kevin Magnussen who did not take part following a crash in FP3.

 P.    DRIVER            TEAM        TIME      GAP 
 1. Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes AMG 1:12.812
 2. Nico Rosberg      Mercedes AMG 1:12.874 + 0.062
 3. Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari      1:12.990 + 0.178
 4. Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull     1:13.166 + 0.354
 5. Max Verstappen    Red Bull     1:13.414 + 0.602
 6. Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari      1:13.579 + 0.767
 7. Valtteri Bottas   Williams     1:13.670 + 0.858
 8. Felipe Massa      Williams     1:13.769 + 0.957
 9. Nico Hulkenberg   Force India  1:13.952 + 1.140
10. Fernando Alonso   McLaren      1:14.338 + 1.526
    Q2 Fastest time: Lewis Hamilton 1:13.076       
11. Sergio Perez      Force India  1:14.317 + 1.241
12. Jenson Button     McLaren      1:14.437 + 1.361
13. Daniil Kvyat*     Toro Rosso   1:14.457 + 1.381
14. Esteban Gutierrez Haas         1:14.571 + 1.495
15. Romain Grosjean   Haas         1:14.803 + 1.727
16. Carlos Sainz JR.  Toro Rosso   1:21.956 + 8.880
    Q1 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:13.714         
17. Jolyon Palmer     Renault      1:15.459 + 1.730
18. Pascal Wehrlein   Manor        1:15.599 + 1.745
19. Marcus Ericsson*  Sauber       1:15.635 + 1.885
20. Felipe Nasr       Sauber       1:16.663 + 2.949
21. Rio Haryanto      Manor        1:17.052 + 3.338
22. Kevin Magnussen   Renault       no time
107% time: 1:18.874

* penalty 3 grid places

2014. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes AMG - 1:14.874
2015. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG - 1:14.393