Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015

Hamilton beats Rosberg to pole as Vettel falls in Q1

2015 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2015Lewis Hamilton took his sixth pole position in seven races after winning a tight battle with team mate Nico Rosberg in Canada.

It was nip-and-tuck between the two drivers for most of qualifying, but in the final top ten shoot-out Hamilton’s first run proved quick enough for pole position.

Kimi Raikkonen put his Ferrari third on the grid but Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in the first phase of qualifying after a problem with his engine.


First blood went to Rosberg by just two thousandths of a second as qualifying began, the two Mercedes only using the harder soft tyres. But Kimi Raikkonen got within four-tenths of a second of them on the same rubber on his first run.

But the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel made a beeline back to the pits without setting a time as the team discovered a problem with his MGU-H. He was despatched back onto the track with enough time to do two laps – but he fell short by three-tenths of a second.

Vettel’s elimination wasn’t the only shock in Q1. Felipe Massa was also nursing a problem with his Williams, complaining he had “no power”, and ended the session half-a-second off Vettel.

The two Manors were eliminated as usual, and Jenson Button never left the garage as his mechanics were unable to replaced his damaged power unit from the first practice session.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.344
17Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’17.886
18Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’19.133
19Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’19.157
20Jenson ButtonMcLaren-HondaNo time


Mercedes showed their true pace as the second part of qualifying began – but still there was little to choose between the two drivers. Rosberg flew through the first two sectors on his was to a 1’14.673. But Hamilton, following along behind him, delivered a stunning final sector to nab the fastest time by 12 thousandths of a second.

Aside from Massa, who had already been eliminated, the seven remaining Mercedes-powered cars all took up places in Q3. That left room only for Raikkonen and the two Red Bulls – Daniel Ricciardo pipping Carlos Sainz to the final top ten place by less than four hundredths of a second.

Sainz out-qualified Max Verstappen but the two Toro Rossos will be several places apart on the grid as Verstappen will have to take two penalties.

A scruffy lap by Nasr left him last of the drivers in the drop zone – his engineer believed a time closer to Ericsson’s was possible. Nasr made a point of thanking his mechanics on the radio for their efforts in getting his car ready for qualifying at all following his crash in practice.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’16.042
12Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’16.245
13Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’16.262
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’16.276
15Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’16.620


Rosberg couldn’t beat his Q2 benchmark with his first run in the top-ten shoot-out – but Hamilton could. While Rosberg complained of a lack of rear grip – which his team put down to a problem with his set of tyres – Hamilton produced a 1’14.393 which put him over three-tenths clear of his team mate.

Neither driver was able to improve on their final run, and with none of their rivals able to break the 75-second barrier that cemented pole position for Hamilton. “What a rubbish end to qualifying,” Rosberg lamented.

Raikkonen held on to third place despite a lurid moment at turn four where he skirted the barrier. Valtteri Bottas pipped the two Lotus drivers to fourth place – the black-and-gold cars surprisingly emerged from the pits side-by-side at one stage.

Nico Hulkenberg put his Force India in seventh with the two Red Bulls between him and Sergio Perez.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’14.393
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’14.702
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’15.014
4Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’15.102
5Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’15.194
6Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’15.329
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.614
8Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’16.079
9Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’16.114
10Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’16.338

2015 Canadian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    59 comments on “Hamilton beats Rosberg to pole as Vettel falls in Q1”

    1. McLaren’s performance is killing. What a rubbish team they have become.
      They must ged rid of Boullier (his management in Lotus / Renault was not inspiring). Obviously, Ron Dennis is outdated too. They need someone of Arrivabene caliber.

      1. +1 on Boullier

      2. This was a power track so what did you expect? If you ignore the positions and look at the deficit in time between Alonso and Hamilton’s pole lap, it’s 1.9 seconds which realising the type of track this is, it’s not too bad especially considering the deficit they’ve had in previous qualifying sessions. It’s not the positions which are important for McLaren right now, it’s all about the time deficit to the top. Their positions will improve as their time deficit decreases.

        1. Actually, if you read news and what they tell, you should know that they promised “improvements will come”. Honda promised that the team would be able to fight for podiums this year. At the same time, according to Arai interviews, engineers at Honda do not understand how to use tockens.
          I do not see any improvements for more than 2 months. The deficit to the top team has not changed greatly. I am really angry at them for that.
          I do not see how McLaren will be able to pick another 1,5 seconds to Ferrari, for example.
          I see that Boullier only speaks a lot about future improvements.
          Ferrari supposedly used 2 tockens to improve the car, and they did not pick the deficit to Mercedes, they are still way behind the German team. How can we expect McLaren-Honda to reach the leaders? BTW, Mercedes has 7 tockens for their engines, too.
          PS: even Ferrari didn’t fall back that much.

          1. you should read the news!! they promised improvements for sure, but they are coming in austria, they said it is going to be tough track and 1.9s away from the top unexpected.

          2. “I do not see any improvements for more than 2 months. The deficit to the top team has not changed greatly”

            Qualifying deficits
            Australia- 5.095 seconds
            Malaysia- Wet
            China-3.494 seconds
            Bahrain-2.468 seconds
            Spain-3.079 seconds
            Monaco-1.995 seconds
            Canada-1.883 seconds

            If you don’t see any improvements for 2 months and you believe that the gap deficit to the leaders hasn’t reduced greatly, it would be advisable for you to pay a visit to Specsavers.

            1. I think looking at China with Spain and Bahrain with Canada makes more sense. It looks like they gained half a sec realistically I think.

      3. Liam McShane (@)
        6th June 2015, 19:28

        Why the hate on Boullier? Since he became team principal at Renault/Lotus the team performed consistently well. Lets not forget he was not part of McLaren when the Honda deal was made either. I fail to see why the should get rid of him.

      4. Arrivabene’s caliber? LOL! What exactly has he done yet to achieve such a name?

        1. other than taking credit for everything ;)

          1. He can take credit for SebVet’s MGU-H too.

      5. McLaren’s problems at the moment are 80% engine and 20% chassis. Given the disaster he’s inherited, and the spectre of Ron “remaking” the team back into a temple to the ego of Ron, any manager would have their work cut out.

        1. @hairs – it does not matter, who is responsible for these problems right now. They do not improve for a long time. That is why I am really irritated.

      6. Arrivabene isn’t responsible for their performance for goodness sake.

        1. rushfan – why so angry?
          What I mean is that Arrivabene is responsible for the Ferrari revival. The team was in terrible condition last year, and look at them now! A completely different approach.
          McLaren now needs someone better than Dennis and (for godness sake, why they hired him???) Eric Boullier.

          1. If the 2015 car performed as badly as the 2014 car they would still be the same team, its not the leader than has suddenly made them more happy, it’s the fact they have the 2nd fastest car on the grid.

            You can argue about how he helps bring the team together in certain places and work together some more. Is he a good leader? I would say Yes but time will tell on that but to scythe Ferrari revival is because of him is somewhat crazy and slightly insulting to the people who have worked hard on both the chassis and engine over the winter.

            1. When team leaders change it is obviously a big thing. And people realize when the head of various technical departments change. But the engineers doing the job are mostly the same guys. I think if you bring good and suitable people as leaders and don’t change the engineering team, you can manage a rather seamless transition like Ferrari did. Just don’t get in the way of the engineers. lol

      7. Considering where they were in pre-season testing (not able to string any quantity of laps together, even off the pace), I think their current performance is pretty good. This was always going to be a throw away year. The key for them is to keep improving, and correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t they just score points for the first time last race? As long as the Honda and McLaren remain committed to the project, which seems to be the case, next year is the year to really assess their quality as a team.

    2. Awesome session. The race will be great. Thanks Keith for the great site and format in fanatic live.

    3. sad to see an issue with SV’s car, but good to see Kimi hold the other Mercedes-powered units at bay. Should be an interesting race with a lot of good drivers starting from the back(ish).

      1. Great performance from Raikkonen!

    4. ooohhh it was an achievable pole for Vettel, but all that is a big ·what if· nice to see Kimi there.

      1. Michael Duncan
        6th June 2015, 20:38

        No it wasn’t a achievable pole at all, so stop telling yourself lies. Vettel would have got no where near pole. Keep thinking that though dude.

      2. He would of probably been a little faster than Kimi but he wasn’t going to get anywhere near the Mercs in Qually trim. Not a chance. Keeping in mind that Kimi has shown some great pace over the weekend on both short and long runs, they just aren’t fast enough for pole at the moment.

      3. It looks a bit over the top. But actually Mercedes expected Vettel to be around 0.1 sec away from pole. So it is not nearly as exaggerated as you imagine.

        1. *couple of 0.1 sec

    5. I think Vettel would have taken 2nd if it wasn’t for his car failure, either Hamilton is showing his supremacy or Rosberg is really insulting that Mercedes.

      Honestly, I believe Kimi will be more of a challenge to Hamilton tomorrow than Rosberg tomorrow. His race pace and some tricks from Ferrari can seriously threaten the win of Lewis and Mercs.

      1. Even I feel Vettel would have taken 2nd on the grid, if not for his PU problem. I also feel Hamilton is showing his supremacy this season over Rosberg.

        Race would be exciting as two drivers are definitely out of their usual grid postitions and since it is Canada we would be watching many overtakes :)

    6. With Verstappen’s penalty, that will make about 3 quick out of place drivers moving forward from the rear, and, assuming JB’s Honda can also find it’s legs, it will (should?) make for a watchable race…

      C’mon Jense! You’ve won from the back in Canada before!

      1. button has a penalty. Forget about him in tomorrow’s race.

    7. Lewis was unbeatable today. Great lap, Rosberg had no chance.
      Great for Kimi to finish inside the top-3, but what a shame for Seb. He could’ve been very close to Rosberg or might have beaten him if it wasn’t for the MGU-H failure.

      Should be a interesting race tomorrow. I hope Kimi can make the Mercs sweat. This circuit is pretty tough on brakes, so this might help the “Iceman”.

      Lotus look really strong this weekend. Both their drivers did an amazing job in qualy.

      1. Yeah no chance for Rosberg, with his weirdly bad set of tyres, put aside for his banker lap to say the least. You would think the bad set would be used in Q2 or something.

        1. Great performance for Lewis to take pole, considering the lack of track time that he had today.

        2. They would start the race on those in Q2, besides I’m a little lost on this whole “bad” set…Maybe Merc should clear up what they meant by that.

    8. It’s a shame that the Stewards didn’t even open an investigation after Vettel overtook a car under red flags in FP3. They’re there to enforce the rules no matter the circumstances, to be lawful. But if they turn a blind eye to such obvious infractions, and don’t even feel the need to communicate why they deemed a penalty unnecessary, they’re becoming a serious problem for the integrity of the sport.

      1. Are you serious?

        1. According to Andrew Benson, “Vettel had to go to the stewards to discuss potential offence of passing under red flag in P3…”

          So yes, it’s really serious matter!

          1. Seb got a penalty, so yes, you were right mate! :)

            Hope Kimi will have a good car and strategy tomorrow!

        2. @lucien_todutz
          I was. I had no information whatsoever on the Stewards opening an investigation (no such document on fia.com), so I assumed they wouldn’t even look at it. Turns out I was wrong.

      2. @nase They did open an investigation. Vettel just left the hearing at the stewards 15 minutes ago.

        1. @crammond
          Yeah, I was too impatient. I’m used to the Stewards opening their investigations *relatively* soon after an incident, not 3,5 hours and an entire session later.
          Glad they did what they had to do.

          1. It looked like they were waiting to see where he’s gonna end up on grid frankly.

      3. I think they should allow people to overtake Manor under red flags. Seriously. Why is there a car so off the pace on track. It is hazardous!

      4. Not only there is an investigation, Vettel has been hit with a 5 place penalty and 3 points

        1. Now who’s gonna start dead last? Vettel or Verstappen? I’m confused.
          Are they both gonna take a penalty during pit too?
          Race down the drain…..

          1. It’s Vettel in P18, Verstappen in P19, and Button from the pits. Vettel will have to serve a 5-second penalty during his first stop (provided it doesn’t take place during a Safety Car period), Verstappen a 10-second penalty.

            1. Are you sure of Button-pit? I heard he’s starting 20 but there might be a drive through or something. Why Vettel’s getting an extra penalty anyway?

            2. @bola
              Yes, I’m sure about Button. After being allowed to race, the team decided to make changes to his car, thus breaking Parc Fermé rules, which automatically leads to him starting from the pit lane. The FIA’s provisional starting grid lists him as starting from the pits.

              About Vettel’s penalty:
              It seems that I am mistaken. I thought the same rules that apply to penalties for technical reasons (such as using a 5th PU, see Verstappen, i.e. additional penalties in the race for every grid place penalty that couldn’t be added to your starting position) also applied to sporting infractions. It looks as though I was wrong.
              So much for my optimistic approach to reading inherent logic into the rules. Grumble.

    9. I’ve been keeping a close eye on Williams all weekend. They have been going about their business confidently and Bottas in particular has looked great on track. He pulled out a great lap when it mattered to jump the Lotii. I get the sense that he is going to be in a good position to fend off a Ferrari to nab a podium tomorrow.

      1. There is a Ferrari already ahead of him.

        1. They also started ahead of him in the last few races…

          1. Only time a Ferrari starting ahead of him ended up behind was when the driver ahead made a mistake.

          2. I think Grosjean finishing ahead Bottas is more likely. I expect as early as the start for the change of positions.

    10. Ferrari better make sure they don’t come across any Mercedes on track with Vettel. They are gonna be really hard to overtake. Since the beginning of the season there have been 2 teams that Ferrari are yet to overtake on track: RBR and Williams. I’m not sure about Force India. But we know Ferrari tend to get stuck behind Williams and we have no idea what’s gonna happen with RBR. They are lucky this is a power track, so RBR may not be an issue. But start is gonna be a big big issue for sure!

      Very good form from Raikkonen. It is excellent job from him to hold onto that 3rd place. If Ferrari have the pace, I’m sure tomorrow he’s gonna challenge Mercedes.

      I wonder who Verstappen is planning to overtake tomorrow. It looks like he’ll be starting at the end of the grid. But other than Manor, McLaren and Sauber they are the slowest cars here. Is he planning on going better than RBR? I’m not sure whether their race pace would be enough to challenge Force India. I don’t think even RBR have the pace to challenge them.

      Good job from Kvyat. He looked the faster man all weekend. People have been giving him flak for some time. I don’t know what they have been watching really. He didn’t even race in Australia! Has been down on the power like 3 races straight. He looks pretty promising on clean weekends.

      Very curious about what’s gonna transpire between Lotus and Williams. Williams (Bottas) think their race pace is better. But Lotus long runs were very promising. Moreover, I remember a weekend where Williams were worried because Lotus were faster than them in the race. So it is up for grabs I think.

      Let’s see whether Maldonado can finish the race or not.

      If Mercedes works team continue on this trajectory with their reliability, it looks like Vettel is out of contention for WDC. Frankly it is pretty obvious Mercedes-Hamilton are gonna be the champions for a long time to come. Considering their advantage of 0.8 secs they have the capacity for twice the amount of titles RBR-Vettel had. Actually trajectory now looks even better for them. No one’s gotten within that 0.8 secs yet, and they are doing everything they can to make sure homologation of power units continue. Imagine aerodynamics homologation before 2014, how weird that would be! Also they are dominant in every sense of the word. There is no track they will be at any considerable disadvantage. They have the best PU, chassis and aerodynamics.

      Any guess for the Mercedes Vettel’s gonna get stuck behind?

      1. No on the Vettel question, Hulk perhaps, but I will make 1 prediction, Kimi will rely on looking after his tyres to gain position and there will be no on track Ferrari/MB action after the 2nd lap.

        1. I agree with you. But it also depends on the start I think. If he ends up ahead of a Merc somehow, Merc will probably try overtaking him. Otw, it would be like you said. He can possibly go longer enough with supersofts to over cut Mercs.

      2. Well the first Mercedes engine powered car he would need to pass would be Massa, something he may find hard to do if Massa has DRS himself.

        1. Massa will be starting ahead of him and also moving up the field. So I think he may even end up ahead of a couple of other Mercedes PUs with his pit stop. But Vettel….. Poor guy :p

    11. digitalrurouni
      6th June 2015, 22:29

      Yes yes Hamilton pole and all but can we talk about lap times? These V6 cars are turning out to be stunningly fast even with the reduced aero no? 1.14.3 is less than a second away from the fastest lap set in 2004 by Reubens. Sure its nowhere near Ralf Schumacher’s lap but dang!

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