Nico Rosberg claims pole position for the third time this season - Hannah Taylor has the full qualifying report.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg proved to be the best when it mattered most today, as he achieved his maiden pole position at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve ahead of tomorrow’s FIA Formula One 2014 Canadian Grand Prix.
Rosberg and team mate Lewis Hamilton got back to business as usual on the track in qualifying, following the controversy surrounding the conclusion of the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying session two weeks ago.
Rosberg’s success at the end of Q3 today means that the German driver has picked up his third pole position of the season and he also beat Hamilton to the top spot on the grid in the process. Hamilton followed closely behind to qualify in second place, 8/100ths of Rosberg's pole lap.
The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will find themselves in a Red Bull sandwich as they begin the race tomorrow. The pair will line up on the grid in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso managed to finish higher up the field than his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen as Q3 came to a close. Alonso will start the 70 lap marathon from seventh place and his Finnish team mate will be a few places behind in 10th place.
Unlike the majority of the drivers who made it through to Q3 and were accompanied by their team mate, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne was the sole driver flying the flag for the team in the final battle. The Frenchman crossed the line at the end of the session to qualify in eighth place, while his team mate Daniil Kvyat qualified 15th.
Today’s qualifying session was not completely problem free for a select few drivers, who veered off the track in separate incidents and inevitably made an early exit from the action.
Lotus Renault’s Pastor Maldonado suddenly pulled off the course at the entry to turn three with less than a minute remaining of Q1 and he had to settle for 17th place on the grid.
Ericsson and Maldonado at least got to make some laps in qualifying for a short while until their unexpected exits. Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez was not even able to make one appearance on the track. The Mexican driver crashed in the final practice session and the team will have to repair the damage to his car to get it back up to racing condition. It has been reported that Gutierrez will race at the discretion of the stewards.
Following today’s qualifying session, Rosberg and the Mercedes team as a whole have demonstrated that they are still the ones to beat. It remains to be seen whether any of their closest rivals on the track will charge to the front tomorrow and topple their stranglehold on this season.
Following qualifying, Kamui Kobayashi was handed a five-spot grid penalty after his team was forced to make a gearbox change. Pastor Maldonado was also reprimanded for failing to put his steering wheel back in the car after pulling off the track in Q1.
Canadian GP Starting Lineup
1.) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2.) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3.) Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
4.) Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
5.) Felipe Massa (Williams)
6.) Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
7.) Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
8.) Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
9.) Jenson Button (McLaren)
10.) Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
11.) Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
12.) Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
13.) Sergio Perez (Force India)
14.) Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
15.) Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)
16.) Adrian Sutil (Sauber)
17.) Pastor Maldonado (Lotus)
18.) Max Chilton (Marussia)
19.) Jules Bianchi (Marussia)
20.) Marcus Ericsson (Caterham)
21.) Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham)
22.) Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber)