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44 for #44: Hamilton takes landmark pole in Canada

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44 for #44: Hamilton takes landmark pole in Canada
Jun 6, 2015, 8:04 PM

His Monaco woes now well behind him, there was no stopping Lewis Hamilton in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying as the world champion recorded the 44t...

His Monaco woes now well behind him, there was no stopping Lewis Hamilton in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying as the world champion recorded the 44th pole of his career in untroubled fashion.

The anticipated battle with Ferrari failed to materialise as Sebastian Vettel was forced out with engine problems in Q1 and, while Kimi Raikkonen was best of the rest behind another Mercedes front row lockout, Hamilton's pace was a level above even his team mate Nico Rosberg. Vettel's troubles looked like getting worse, too, as after qualifying the German was summoned to the stewards office, accused of overtaking under red flags during the morning's final practice session.

The Ferrari driver was later deemed guilty of the offence and was handed a five-place grid penalty and also received three penalty points on his super licence.

Hamilton's first run in Q3 was enough to make it a sixth pole from seven races as Rosberg scrambled to a lap 0.309s adrift of his team-mate. The German was then unable to improve on his second and final run in the final part of the session.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Montreal, Canada

There was no second-run improvement for Hamilton either but it mattered nought, as Hamilton made it a fourth pole position in Canada at the circuit where he recorded his first career pole and race victory in 2007.

"It felt amazing," Hamilton said afterwards. "It wasn't the easiest of days. P3 was quite tough. I didn't get any laps – mostly my fault – but I got the set-up where I wanted it to be.

"I won my first grand prix here and to come back and finally get another pole is very special."

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Montreal, Canada

Rosberg afterwards described his Q3 as "a rubbish end to qualifying" as he failed to match his 2014 pole-winning performance.

"I was really on a roll, it felt really good and then the end did not come together at all. I had less rear grip on the first set especially. But fair play to Lewis and in the race is tomorrow there are still some good chances so it is not over yet."

Behind the flying Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen was the sole representative of Ferrari in the top ten shoot out, the Finn taking the opportunity to record his best qualifying position of the season and set to take up a top three grid position since the Chinese Grand Prix in 2013.

Raikkonen edged Valtteri Bottas's Williams in the battle for top Finn by 0.88s as Bottas shrugged off his Monaco qualifying woes and in turn pushed the resurgent Lotus squad behind him.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Montreal, Canada

Romain Grosjean topped Q1 for Lotus and kept enough tyres in hand to edge team-mate Pastor Maldonado for fifth by 0.235s, though the latter was celebrating his first time in Q3 in Canada and the Enstone squad's best qualifying performance of the season.

Nico Hulkenberg made it six Mercedes powered cars in the top seven as Force India also managed to get two cars into Q3. Sergio Perez made it to Q3 in Canada for the first time, albeit over seven tenths of a second behind his team mate.

Daniil Kvyat will start ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for the second time in three races after putting his Red Bull eighth on the grid, the Australian a mere .035s slower than his young Russian colleague.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Montreal, Canada

Both Toro Rossos missed out on Q3 with Carlos Sainz ahead of Max Verstappen by 0.22s, Sainz thus set to start ahead of Verstappen for the fourth time in seven races.

Verstappen's motivation can't have been helped by the knowledge that he carried a total of fifteen places in grid penalties into qualifying: a ten-place penalty for an enforced engine change added to the five place penalty incurred for his part in his crash with Romain Grosjean in Monaco last time out. By not being able to take his full 15-place grid penalty, Verstappen will carry time penalties into the race.

Neither Sauber made the Q2 cut either, with Marcus Ericsson 13th fastest, 0.358s fastest than 15th placed Felipe Nasr, the latter doing well to make qualifying after a spectacular free practice crash which gave his mechanics a race against time to get him out in the afternoon.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Montreal, Canada

The Saubers sandwiched Fernando Alonso's 14th fastest McLaren Honda, the Spaniard giving his squad some encouragement on a pure power track after the recent engine upgrade

Sebastian Vettel grabbed his hobbled Ferrari by the scruff of the neck but the power deficit and increased throttle lag made it an unequal task for the three-time Montreal pole sitter to make it through to Q2. In the end he missed out by 0.332s.

After qualifying a lowly 14th in Monaco, Felipe Massa was out in Q1 this time round, the disgruntled Brazilian complaining of a lack of power from his Mercedes propelled Williams on his way to 17th fastest time.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Montreal, Canada

Roberto Merhi outqualified his Manor team mate Will Stevens for the first time in a straight fight, the two rookies separated by a scant .024s, albeit over 1.2s adrift of Massa's Williams.

Pole sitter in Canada ten years ago this weekend, Jenson Button was confined to the McLaren Honda garage throughout qualifying after an ERS related problem in morning practice forced a power unit change that couldn't be effected in time for the session.

Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:14.393s -

2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:14.702s 0.309s

3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:15.014s 0.621s

4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:15.102s 0.709s

5 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:15.194s 0.801s

6 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:15.329s 0.936s

7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:15.614s 1.221s

8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:16.079s 1.686s

9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:16.114s 1.721s

10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:16.338s 1.945s

11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:16.042s -

12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:16.262s -

13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:16.276s -

14 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:16.620s -

15 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.344s -

16 Felipe Massa Williams 1:17.886s -

17 Roberto Merhi Marussia 1:19.133s -

18 Will Stevens Marussia 1:19.157s -

19 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:16.245s -

20 Jenson Button McLaren - -
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Canadian GP: Provisional starting grid

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