Nico Rosberg has qualified in pole position for Sundays Canadian Grand Prix with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton second. Hamilton locked his right-front brake going into turn eight on his final run in Q3 to lose out on pole by 0.079secs.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel out qualified his team mate for only the second time this season and will start third after finishing 0.595secs behind the two Mercedes. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas will start fourth after Vettel beat his time by 0.002secs with teammate Felipe Massa fifth.
Vettel’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo will start sixth after posting a time 0.041secs slower than the reigning world champion. Fernando Alonso will start seventh with Jean-Eric Vergne eighth and Britain’s Jensen Button ninth.
The first session started off with only 21 drivers after the Sauber mechanics were unable to fix the damage to Esteban Gutierrez’ car after he spun at turns eight and nine and collided with the wall during FP3. The Mexican will start the race in the pit lane after the accident forced a gearbox change.
Kamui Kobayashi was relegated to 21st after he also received a penalty for a change of gearbox.
It was Hamilton who drew first blood in Q1 by posting a time 0.721secs quicker than his teammate. The Williams’ also showed good pace early on and finished the session in fifth and sixth.
Lotus’s woes continued as Pastor Maldonado will start 17th after finishing the session prematurely with engine trouble.
The Marussia’s of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi were made to pay for waiting too long in the pit lane. They left their final Q1 runs until the last minute, when the track would be at its best, after waiting nearly 10 minutes in the pits only for Marcus Ericsson to spin at turn four. The Swede ripped the left-rear corner off his Caterham forcing the session to be red-flagged with 16 seconds left and spoiling the Marussia’s chance of a place in Q2.
Into Q2 and again it was Hamilton who set the fastest time but Rosberg was closing in. The German was only 0.235secs behind this time.
For much of the session, the Williams’ looked like they may have had a chance at snatching pole from under Mercedes nose. Both Bottas and Massa went quickest at different times and were consistently matching Hamilton and Rosberg. The Mercedes drivers then turned up the wick on their final runs to finish Q2 0.484secs ahead of the Williams’.
Despite being the fastest in a straight line, the Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez missed out on a top 10 spot. Having a good practice on Friday and tipped for a strong weekend, they will have a lot of work if they are to get any points as Hulkenberg will start 11th with Perez 13th.
In Q3, the Williams’ again looked strong but were unable to compete with the Mercedes. Bottas went third after their first runs with Massa fourth, ahead of the Red Bulls.
Rosberg went quickest on the first runs with the first sub 75 second lap. With time running out for Hamilton, Rosberg then extended his lead on the final runs only for Hamilton to lock his breaks and gift the German pole for the second race running.
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari was out of sync with the others as he only went for one timed lap. He met traffic on his run as the other drivers were on out laps and could only manage eighth place, which later turned to 10th as the others completed their laps.
In the other Ferrari, Alonso could only manage seventh, nearly a full second off the pace.
Jean-Eric Vergne pulled out a sensational lap to beat the Mercedes powered McLaren of Button in to eighth place by 0.02secs.