Lewis Hamilton was a delighted man after qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix as he made a faultless run to pole position. The Briton at the same time broke the circuit lap record, topping Vettel's best effort of the day by 3 tenths. Valtteri Bottas was third fastest, followed by the second Ferrari of Raikkonen.
The entire hour of qualifying was held in perfect conditions, with sunny skies and a track that was slowly getting heated up by the Canadian sun.
Carlos Sainz was the first to hit the track as he led his Toro Rosso team mate Daniil Kvyat out of the pitlane. They were soon followed by Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll, the local hero. The Canadian endured a troubled beginning of the season but sure arrived at Montreal in the hope it would be a turning point.
Vettel soon emerged on top, despite using super softs tyres. Lewis Hamilton ended up second fastest, just 0.030s slower, but with the ultra soft, just like all but the Ferrari drivers.
While Alonso drew some attention early on in the session as well, he rapidly dropped down the pecking order towards the end of the session, but saved himself from elimination 3 minutes from the end. That was only just in time, as Pascal Wehrlein hit the wall a bit later, bringing out the yellow flags, halting any possible improvements from anyone coming up behind him. Vandoorne was among the drivers still on track, and subsequently ended up getting eliminated.
Q2 was reasonably straight forward with no surprises until Daniil Kvyat ended up brushing the wall a little too hard. The touching broke the right rear rim of his Toro Rosso, creating a puncture and causing the end of his session while on his final flying lap. Without surprise, that eliminated him, even though that still meant 11th position, ahead of Alonso and Carlos Sainz.
In the final part of qualifying, Vettel was among the first to set a time, but he saw his team mate, as well as both Mercedes drivers go faster. In fact, Lewis Hamilton managed 1:11.791, good for a new track record around Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve. Vettel however went on and improved considerably at a time when hardly anyone was out on track. The German's time was just 0.004s slower than Hamilton's early benchmark, making it obvious Hamilton would better not take anything for granted.
One minute 30s from the end, Hamilton began an attempt on his second set of tyres in Q3. The Mercedes driver didn't mess around and recorded another 3 purple sectors to sharpen his time to 1:11.459. Bottas was no match and didn't improve, ending up third on the grid, behind his team mate and Vettel who held on to second following a tiny improvement in his final attempt.
Raikkonen completed the top 4, ahead of the Red Bull duo. In the end, an unsurprising starting grid at the front, but certainly a boost for Hamilton and his team, considering the margin in hand. Still, that didn't prevent Ferrari from bouncing back and win the race earlier this season, so all is left to play for on Sunday.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:12.692||1:12.496||1:11.459||21|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:12.685||1:12.563||1:12.177||20|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:13.177||1:12.751||1:12.403||26|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:13.543||1:12.810||1:12.557||28|
|7||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:13.435||1:13.012||1:12.858||27|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:13.470||1:13.262||1:13.018||22|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:13.520||1:13.320||1:13.135||22|
|11||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:13.802||1:13.690||-||18|
|12||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:13.669||1:13.693||-||18|
|13||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:14.051||1:13.756||-||19|
|14||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:13.780||1:13.839||-||21|
|16||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:14.182||-||-||11|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:14.209||-||-||14|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:14.318||-||-||11|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:14.495||-||-||11|
|20||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:14.810||-||-||10|