Rosberg tops Hamilton for Canadian pole

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, marginally edging out his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton. World Champion Sebastian Vettel starts from third, ahead of both Williams drivers and his team mate, Daniel Ricciardo.

Following a quiet first few minutes, the track got busy with approximately 15 minutes left on the clock. Felipe Massa was the first to set a time in Q1, recording a 1:17.728. Soon after, the second Williams steered by Bottas slotted into second. At this stage, everyone went out on the prime Soft tyre, apart from Ericsson who immediately opted for the Super Soft on his first run.

A few minutes later Rosberg takes the top spot while Hamilton locks up in turn 1 and ends up going straight through the corner. At the same time it became evident that Williams is doing very well here, thus far sticking to 3r and 4th behind the Mercedes but ahead of Button, the Red Bull duo, Vergne, Magnussen and Alonso.

With 5 minutes left on the clock, both Mercedes drivers are seen already walking around in the pitbox, certain of a position in Q2 following those early laptimes. At about the same time, Perez is underway on his first flying lap but misses turn 6 with oversteer. He was able to resume without problems and went on for another flying lap, attempting to improve from that 15th time.

A single minute from the end, Markus Ericsson ends the session early as his encounter with the wall at turn 9 caused a red flag. There was plenty of damage on the right rear of his Caterham, including a broken rear suspension. The Swede however is unhurt and soon stepped out of his car. A few seconds earlier Pastor Maldonado did the same following a technical issue.

The end of Q1 saw Marussia, Caterham, Pastor Maldonado and Estéban Gutierrez eliminated. The latter didn't run at all as the team were still busy repairing his car following his FP3 crash.

In Q2, Adrian Sutil became the first to set a flying lap but soon fell down the order as literally everyone out on track this early on went faster than him. Massa went fastest 3 minutes into the session and soon found it a pretty good time, seeing that Rosberg and Hamilton both slotted in behind him following their runs on the super soft tyres. Bottas went fourth with Alonso 5th, saying to his team it was "a good, very good lap".

At the very end of the session, everybody bar Alonso went out on track again. Bottas was the first to improve, slotting into second place while Raikkonen improved from 11th to 8th. Vettel improved to 5th but soon saw Ricciardo move ahead again. Vergne took 10th while Hamilton posted the fastest time of the session, just ahead of Rosberg, relegating the Williams cars back to 3rd and 4th.

The late improvements pushed out Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Perez, Grosjean, Kvyat and Sutil.

5 minutes later, the 12 minute Q3 kicks off with silence as everybody waited a bit to go out on track. As laps only take 1min 16s, they do have some margin to play with.

The first man out is Bottas, and evidently he sets the first timed lap of the session, posting a 1:15.550. Rosberg soon topped that, becoming the first man this year to go under 1:15 by setting a 1:14.946. Hamilton proved to be a tenth slower on his first lap while Felipe Massa slotted into 4th, behind his teammate.

Meanwhile at Red Bull, Ricciardo again outshines Vettel by setting a first flying lap approximately 4 tenths quicker than his World Champion team mate. Alonso's first lap is only good for 7th, followed by Vergne and Button. Raikkonen meanwhile sat in his car and watched others do the work.

With 4 minutes left on the clock, the Finnish Ferrari driver then finally headed out, set for a single flying lap. Not without traffic though as by the time the Finn was on his flyer, many cars were on their in-laps preparing for their second run. Raikkonen though held his concentration and posted 8th, a tenth off of Fernando Alonso.

In the dying seconds, Alonso improved a bit but stays 7th. Rosberg improved little less than a tenth, but with Hamilton setting a "poor" second second, that enough for pole position. Vettel on the other hand did pull out an impressive lap to take 3rd, a few hundredths faster than Bottas, the latter once again beating Massa in qualifying.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTime
1.N. RosbergMercedes AMG01:14.874
2.L. HamiltonMercedes AMG01:14.953
3.S. VettelRed Bull Racing01:15.548
4.V. BottasWilliams01:15.550
5.F. MassaWilliams01:15.578
6.D. RicciardoRed Bull Racing01:15.589
7.F. AlonsoFerrari01:15.814
8.J. VergneToro Rosso01:16.162
9.J. ButtonMcLaren01:16.182
10.K. RaikkonenFerrari01:16.214
11.N. HulkenbergForce India01:16.300
12.K. MagnussenMcLaren01:16.310
13.S. PerezForce India01:16.472
14.R. GrosjeanLotus F101:16.687
15.D. KvyatToro Rosso01:16.713
16.A. SutilSauber01:17.314
17.P. MaldonadoLotus F101:18.328
18.M. ChiltonMarussia01:18.348
19.J. BianchiMarussia01:18.359
20.K. KobayashiCaterham01:19.278
21.M. EricssonCaterham01:19.820
22.E. GutiérrezSauberno time


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