Lewis Hamilton back on track with Montreal pole

Mercedes driver out to leave Monaco heartbreak behind

 Lewis Hamilton on the way to pole position in his Mercedes  during qualifying for the Canadian  Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve  in Montreal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton on the way to pole position in his Mercedes during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

 

Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position in Canada as his quest to move on from his Monaco heartbreak continues.

The reigning world champion beat team-mate Nico Rosberg to the top of the timesheet as the team collected yet another one-two.

Kimi Raikkonen will start third for Ferrari, who would have wanted to be closer to the dominant Mercedes having brought an improved power unit to Montreal.

Hamilton, who lost the lead late on in Monaco two weeks ago after a call to pit under the safety car saw both Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel pass him, had said he “could not care less” about that incident and wanted to return to winning ways this time out.

He may have had a small crash in Friday’s wet practice session but the 30-year-old was untouchable when it mattered, taking the 44th pole position of his career in the place where he stormed to his first.

Hamilton’s pole lap was his first of the final session, with Rosberg unable to get within three-tenths of a second of his team-mate’s time of one minute 14.393 seconds – the German showing his frustration over the team radio as he bemoaned a “rubbish end to qualifying”.

On the other hand, Hamilton was visibly delighted with taking a sixth pole in seven races this season, with the 44th of his career matching the number he sports on his car.

“I feel amazing today,” he said. “It wasn’t the easiest of days, P3 was tough and I didn’t get many laps. I was going into qualifying a bit blind with the set-up.

“I won my first grand prix here in 2007 and that was incredibly special, to get a pole here and for it to be my 44th is very, very special.

“The first lap was pretty good, it could have been better. The next lap started off bad so there was good time in the car. It was tough out there with the tyres but I enjoyed it.”

Rosberg quantified his radio message after qualifying but is hoping he can get past Hamilton during the race on Sunday.

“That was the best way to sum it up,” he said of his comments.

“I was really on a roll but in the end it just didn’t come together at all. It didn’t work out and we need to analyse now why that was.

“Fair play to Lewis and the race is tomorrow so we still have some good chances and here there are good chances to overtake so it isn’t over yet.

“I had a bad qualifying and we are still second on the grid. That still gives me hope. It is a long and difficult race, it is all to play for tomorrow but I’m disappointed with today.”

Raikkonen was the best of the rest and he will be joined on the second row by fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas after he jumped his Williams ahead of the Lotus’ late in the session.

Despite missing out on the second row, Lotus enjoyed an impressive qualifying display and Romain Grosjean was rewarded by taking fifth place, with team-mate Pastor Maldonado just a place further back in sixth.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg made it six Mercedes-powered cars in the top seven, getting ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and last year’s winner Daniel Ricciardo, with the second Force India of Sergio Perez rounding out the top 10.

The Toro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen could not quite get into the top-10 shootout.

Sainz will start 11th but Verstappen faces a 15-place penalty after a combination of an engine change and punishment for causing a crash in Monaco last time out.

The Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr sandwiched Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, with the Spaniard only able to set the 13th fastest time.

Three big names fell in the early parts of qualifying, although technically Jenson Button did not have a chance after his McLaren rolled to a stop in free practice leading to the 2009 world champion sitting out the session.

Sebastian Vettel could only manage the 16th fastest time after an issue with his Ferrari engine restricted him to two flying laps at the very end of the 18 minutes while the Williams of Felipe Massa was another surprise casualty in Q1 due to his own power unit problems.

The two Manors of Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens joined those three in the drop zone with the former starting ahead of Stevens having had the beating of the Briton all weekend.

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