Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2016

Hamilton takes Canada pole as Rosberg falters at the last

2016 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix for the fifth time in his career.

His Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg ran him close for much of the session but an error at the beginning of his final qualifying lap assured Hamilton his fourth pole of the season.

Sebastian Vettel took third for Ferrari, coming within two-tenths of a second of the silver cars.


With skies darkening as qualifying began the top drivers wasted no time in hitting the track to get their banker laps in. With a fresh set of ultra-soft tyres Rosberg lowered the quickest time of the weekend so far to a 1’13.714.

The Mercedes driver complained about being “blocked” by Sebastian Vettel on his first run. The Ferrari set the second-fastest time and Daniel Ricciardo made it three different cars in the top three in his Red Bull.

The first drops of rain began to fall halfway through the session and at first it seemed to be well-timed for Manor. Pascal Wehrlein’s first lap had been good enough for 14th initially, and had the rain intensified more quickly he might have grabbed a spot in Q2.

However the drizzle was slow to intensify, and as both Haas drivers and Daniil Kvyat improved their times Wehrlein slipped into the bottom six. When team mate Rio Haryanto hit the turn four barrier and limped slowly back to the pits, the subsequent yellow flags guaranteed no further improvements from anyone.

Among those to be eliminated were Kevin Magnussen, who was unable to participate following his crash in final practice. Team mate Jolyon Palmer skimmed the Wall of Champions and narrowly missed the cut, while both Saubers also progressed no further.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Jolyon PalmerRenault1’15.459
18Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’15.599
19Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’15.635
20Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’16.663
21Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’17.052
22Kevin MagnussenRenault


The walls of Montreal claimed their second victim a few minutes after Q2 began. Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Toro Rosso stepped out of line at the exit of the final chicane, the right-rear clipped the Wall of Champions and pivoted the car into the barrier. Sainz climbed out of his car uninjured, but would take no further part in the session.

Once the session resumed the Mercedes drivers wasted no time in showing their hand. Hamilton got dangerously close to the wall which claimed Sazin as he set a new benchmark of 1’13.076. But Rosberg ran him close, falling short by just 18 thousandths of a second.

Behind them the competition for the final place in Q3 was fierce. Sergio Perez seemed to be secure with a late lap or ninth place but Fernando Alonso claimed a place in Q3 for McLaren and the final blow was struck by Perez’s own team mate: Nico Hulkenberg took his place in the final ten at the expense of the other VJM09 driver. Perez missed the cut by just five hundredths of a second.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’14.317
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’14.437
13Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’14.457
14Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’14.571
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’14.803
16Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’21.956


Monaco pole sitter Ricciardo led the drivers out as the final phase of qualifying began but he didn’t play a part in the fight for the front row this time – that was conducted entirely between the two Mercedes drivers.

Once again an attacking effort from Hamilton was all-but matched by Rosberg, who was quicker than his team mate through the middle of the lap. Hamilton set a 1’12.812, but Rosberg was a mere six-hundredths of a second behind.

The scene was set for a dramatic end to Q3. But as Rosberg began his final lap a small mistake at turn one ended his bid for pole position. Hamilton failed to improve on his last run as well.

The pair were nearly caught out by a sudden improvement from Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari driver hadn’t been close to the silver cars earlier in the session, but his last lap left him just 0.178s adrift.

Ricciardo clouted the Wall of Champions on his way to fourth place, three-tenths off the Mercedes. Max Verstappen backed him up in fifth with Kimi Raikkonen over half a second slower than the other Ferrari.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.812
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’12.874
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’12.990
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’13.166
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’13.414
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’13.579
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’13.670
8Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’13.769
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’13.952
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’14.338

2016 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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63 comments on “Hamilton takes Canada pole as Rosberg falters at the last”

  1. Wow. Mighty lap times.

  2. Ricciardo once again proves he’s in the top 3 best drivers in the field.

    1. @crunch Who are the other two?

      1. I don’t think you can separate Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, and Alonso.

        1. Indeed and Rosberg isn’t far off them either.

        2. I agree @kingshark these are the top four drivers in F1 at the moment.

    2. I think Ricardo is number one. I would love to see Ricardo in competitive car against Lewis

      1. When he wins a title then maybe the claim can be made. Hamilton has as many titles as he has race wins and Vettel has 1 more title than Ricciardo has race wins. Verstappen is likely in my opinion to trounce them all and be the definitive driver of his era like Schumacher was but that’s potential it is another thing to realise it.

        1. When has Ricciardo actually had a chance to be in a title challenger? Hamilton won the majority of his in pretty much the most dominant car in F1 history while Seb won his in the dominant era of RBR. Ricciardo has only had a HRT, TR and an RBR when the Mercs have pretty much guaranteed 90% of the wins. Completely different context and if Verstappen is likely to trounce all of them, it’s more because he has the longevity of his side while most of the top drivers in the sport would have retired by then.

          1. I respectfully disagree. Vettel won a race in a Torro Rosso, he is entirely to Be do Bull and they ha1d not won a race he was on lo ds then 4 titles, maybe lucky timing but Vettel always seems to have lucky timing as does Hamilton, I put this down to just being top level. Ricciardo was no better than Vergne and if by luck or not it was Verstappen who happened to win for Red Bull in his 1st race at 18 years of age. Ricciardo may stay ahead in performance terms in the short term but I have the feeling Verstappen will come out on top.

            As of right now I think Ricciardo is in great FORM.

    3. No…certainly not..hes outpaced by Verstappen all weekend…it only says something about his 1 lap perfomances. He is like Sainz…great in 1 lap…not that great in racepace

    4. Then who is Vettel? So close to mercs….

      Daniel for sure is briliant.

      Very hard to judge top drivers right now.

      How good is Lewis, is just car so great? Is Nico really just about 0.06s off his pace?

      How good is Alonso? Based on talk he is #1 but when did he last proved it?

      But atleast we can say Kimi and Max are not top 4.

      Personally I think todays top 4 are top 4 overall, and who is best is situation dependant.

      Lewis top racer, Vettel top qualifier, Riciardo top overtaker, Nico top candidate for champion.

      There is not much between them. But Riciardo i feel is most hungry for success, and will do anything and sometimes make it stick.

      1. So far I count 1 win with him being immediately on the (race) pace in a new car, a very fast wet race but unfortunately crashy weekend and a good weekend so far with ending up only 0.248 in the final lap behind someone who is known as a quali specialist.

        In my book that is living up to what you expect from a 18-year old ‘hype’ (which implies you think he will be a temporarily thing). What where you expecting? Him beating the Mercs? Him immediately beating his quali specialist teammate? That is expecting fiction and not realizing that drivers have both a race pace and quali pace. For Max his strongest point is race pace, for Daniel it is his one-lap pace. Not trying to compare them, but much like Schumacher (racepace king) vs Senna (one lap king) they have their strengths without the other being necessarily a weakness (you can hardly call it ‘weaknesses’ with this level of drivers)

      2. Any of them could be best on any given Sunday nothing in it. Verstappen has potential to be greater than them all but for me is not there yet. Alonso a few years ago yeah but now I am not so sure Button is right with him but then Button once beat Hamilton over a season. I think they are so close it does not matter and whichever car you are in is most important.

  3. Vettel and Ricciardo’s late laps show Mercedes is not unbeatable. Verstappen again beaten at the end, while Raikkonen barely outqualified Williams. Not bad qualifying even if the result is pretty familiar.

    1. @michal2009b Yeah it could very well be Hamilton and Rosberg had just a tad lesser laps and both Ricciardo and Vettel suddenly could be ahead. It’s on saturdays that they’ll need to get ahead to have a good shot on sundays. We all know at least one Mercedes now will have plenty of clean air to clear the field…

      1. Hamilton was purple, white and purple in his last lap. They didn’t show any onboard footage in where he lost time. But well… for Rosberg, it’s understandable to lock up… It disappointed me though because I wanted low 12’s not high ones.. Guess they don’t want to give us conditions like yesterday.. But, do Mercedes have problems warming their tyres?

  4. What a lap from Vettel in the end. I did not expect that.

    1. Me neither. I was expecting him to finish 4th. Hope in Ferrari restored.

    2. @kingshark @simeonoff me too, I was thinking about damage limitation, how many Red Bulls and Williamses would qualify ahead of the red cars. Ferrari finally starts ahead of all non-Mercedes cars, this hasn’t happened since Bahrain…

  5. 2 of my best drivers doing well.
    What a monster lap from Lewis. Absolutely nailed it on that first run. You could see how careful he was not to lock-up. Every weekend he has not had an issue this year, he has been on pole.
    Seb’s second lap was bonkers. Could have been on pole had he not slipped a little out of turn 10. As Lewis mentioned yesterday, Ferrari’s seems to have nailed it with their turbo upgrade. I expect them to be in the hunt for the win tomorrow.
    Nico showed once again why he is a very fast driver and why the championship this year swings towards him. I think pole today was his for the taking having shown that he could match Lewis. It’s a shame he locked up massively and thus retired.
    When it is this close, it means the race will be entertaining. Any one of them could be the winner. If Ham does not have his clutch issue and stays clear of trouble at turn one and two he might win here.

    1. This, any of them can win. Vettel and Hamilton are all mighty here. And imagine Nico and Riciardo getting in the mix…

  6. I’m not as impressed by Vettel or Ric.
    Hold on…. let me explain….
    Lap is short, each tenth is a lot here. .2 for Vettel is where I’d expect they would be given its a power track, Ric is 3rd of a second down and that’s quite a bit here. Yes they made a step forward but it’s not enough yet.
    Those 2 stand out also because their teammates are quite far behind but is that strange? Max has always been out-qualified by Ric VERY convincingly and Rai even more so. So, I don’t know, not much change since Spain then in the running order.

    1. Neither to me, though Vettel in the 12’s was great effort. Watching how Lewis and Nico were talking in the press conference, they looked like as if they knew that the gap was not “representative”. Lewis was even laughing and saying that it was not his best laps, and I was surprised. A mid 12 was possible but I am guessing in these cool conditions, those W07’s may not be fully powered…

    2. I´m sorry but i don´t agree, Vettel would have trashed both Mrcedes in equal conditions, he did a flawless lap.

      1. Who can guarantee that? His 3rd sector was the best for ALL THE WEEKEND.
        You are seriously talking down that red car.
        An upgraded one, by the way.

      2. His lap was not perfect. He had a chunk of wheelspin at the hairpin so I don’t see your point especially considering that both Mercedes neither improve on the final runs. As for Vettel trashing both Mercedes, I don’t see that happening particularly that both Rosberg and Hamilton are superb in one lap pace.

        1. Both Mercedes made mistakes in their laps, Rosberg locked in braking and Hamilton even admitted he got middle sector wrong.
          I said that Vettel in equal conditions with the same car and the driving he had today would beat the into pole and i maintain it.

          1. well, that’s all you’re going to get.

          2. You can easily say that in the same car Alonso would trash Button, Vettel would trash Rosberg or Hamilton, Hamilton would trash Rosberg and Vettel would trash Ricciardo. Wrong. It’s easy to say that because you are looking at the time each driver can extract out of a car just like Alonso and Ricciardo. However, everyone easily says that without taking into a fact important points.

            -If the car is quick, take an example the Mercedes in 2013 and the Red Bull in 2014, but does not suit your driving style, you are in trouble because even though the car is “quick and the fastest”, if your car does not suit your driving style, you cannot extract the maximum performance out of it. Remember when Lewis in 2013 was having brake problems and he explained that in BBC, but the Mercedes was quick in qualifying during the 2013 season and also a bit in the race, though in the 2nd part of the season. Lewis still struggled with the car in his first season at Mercedes. Same case with Vettel in 2014, he was still adapting to the new regulations, which lead to Ricciardo beating him most of the time, and I remember that everyone wanted Kimi for that seat in red bull instead of Ricciardo. But what has happend? Vettel was beaten by his younger teammate.
            -As I have said, everyone could say “in 2011, Vettel had the best car, it’s so easy for him because it’s the fastest”. “Hamilton had the most dominant car in 2014 and 2015”. “Button had the best car in 2009”, etc etc. Nope. It’s easily said, hardly seen. It’s always a driver and car combination. The driver must feel comfortable in the car. How many times we have seen this in the past? The car doesn’t have to be quick, but it must be comfortable for the driver.
            – I am sure a lot here would have thought that when Alonso joined Mclaren, he would have had an easy life against Button. However, it doesn’t look like that Alonso has it super easy. And as I said, Vettel against Ricciardo and Hamilton vs Rosberg.
            -There is always a limit in terms of performance, only some drivers can find it and cannot surpass it. Drivers who have big gaps to their teammates means that they can achieve a lot closer to that limit.
            -Everyone thinks that equal cars will show the best, but it’s not equal cars and conditions. It’s everyone feeling comfortable with their cars in the same cars that will show the stand outs.

            I don’t see Vettel trashing Rosberg or Hamilton in the same conditions, it might be even the same battle as those silver guys who are extremely close in terms of levels. It’s always been “put him in equal cars” and he will beat everyone. Easily said, but that statement needs to be changed.

  7. I’m always under the impression that Verstappen is showing everything he got all the time in that car, while Ricciardo is doing his own thing.
    For one fast lap Ricciardo does, he does 3.
    And at the end of the day, he isn’t faster.

    1. I don’t know about Verstappen but that surely is the case for Palmer. In every single way he is overdriving the car and thus crashing it all the time.

      1. @xtwl True, though in all fairness that car seems to be a nightmare to drive and both drivers are crashing frequently.

    2. http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-results/10313/qualifying-2016-canadian-formula-1-grand-prix/

      Look at the times, Max took it very easy in Q1 (probably not wanting to make the same mistake as in Monaco).. So no, he’s not doing 3 fast laps v Daniel only 1.. They improved over the sessions pretty much even..

      Also do not forget, Daniel was very lucky getting away with hitting the wall like that in Q3.. If he ended up like Sainz Max would have outqualified him.. But that’s just a matter of time anyway I think considering how close Max already is in a car he only raced 2x in sofar and Daniel is much more familiar with and is built arround him and not Max.. Also the same thing happened in Toro Rosso, in the beginning of 2015 Sainz outqualified Max, but then when Max gained more experience things started to turn arround and Max started to outqualify Carlos on a regular basis.. So Ricciardo better keep his game all the way up there otherwise Max will be all over him sooner rather then later.. The kid is still only 18, the potential is scary.. Red Bull knew what they were doing when they promoted him..

      1. indeed…amen

        We will see what tommorow brings us…the points are given after the race and not qualy

    3. wow…hahahahahaha is that why Verstappen is always the faster racing driver on sunday?…because he gives it all on saturday?….hahaha

      1. From what i know, he didn’t overtook Ricciardo to the win on Spain.
        And in Monaco, well, i don’t even need to say anything.

        I like the kid, he is going to be a superstar. But he isn’t on the same level of Ricciardo yet.
        Definitely better than Kvyat, that’s crystal clear for me.

        1. 3 races in at 18 years of age he is close enough to stop Ricciardo smiling all the time. Where was Ricciardo at 18? It will not be long before Verstappen is on top of Ricciardo if not in quali then the race as Vergne used to be out qualified but then outraged Ricciardo. Cannot believe someone cannot squeeze Vergne in somewhere.

          1. Remember in Monaco Max was going 2 sec faster then anyone on the track before he crashed.

          2. HighinDutchman
            12th June 2016, 8:14

            every once in a while some sportsmen stand up and you just know they are gonna be the greatest, or at least have the potential to be… luis suarez, christian eriksen, ayrton senna,valentino rossi, michael jordan, usain bolt….i think you can put max on this list as well. Here in holland they already compare him to our greatest hero of all time johan cruijff… maybe a bit early to tell, but he sure is on the same level as cruijff was when he was 18. he will be a champion, only right question is when will he be…. huge respect for ricciardo as well, i think red bull has the best drivers on the field

  8. Superb laps from Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso. Raikkonen once again showing why he needs to retire.

    1. Maybe you should become informed before you make comments like this…. Vettel was the only Ferrari to recieve the upgraded turbo and compressor…

      1. XD

        also i think Rosberg should be among those congratulated, almost nothing in it between him and Hamilton, this is especially important when this is meant to be one of Hamilton’s strongest tracks

      2. also i just checked and 4 days ago it was reported both would get the upgrade, has something happened between then and now?

        1. @khanistanf1
          No, they both got new Turbo, MGU-H & ES.

    2. to be fair, it was the timing that was abysmal. He chose to do one run and when he came out, he did 2 warm-up laps and on the third, most important lap, he ended up hitting traffic, which cost him at least 2-3 tenths.

  9. Seb still fine-tuning, there is more to come.

  10. im glad this season is becoming less and less predictable.i hope lewis wins,but it wont be easy.

    whats happened to kimi tho?he should be doing alot better.shame really.

    1. So you want this season to be more boring?

      1. I really dont understand your comment @ultimateuzair . Matt said he wants Hamilton to win in the end, having to fight hard for it. I don’t see it as boring.

    2. Kimi has been struggling all weekend, so not really a surprise he got outqualified by Seb.
      He lost a lot of time in S3, especially at the hairpin. It also puzzles me why the team didn’t send him out on a used set first, instead of doing only one run, like they did with Seb.

  11. It is times like this you wish the drivers had Identical cars, because I think had that being the case, pole would have been very close and tense.

    1. If cars were the same there would be 7 or 8 different drivers winning and 2 or 3 wins max for the champion. Sounds great but spec series are dreadful to me so I like it as is.

      1. Agreed markp. F1 is not a spec series and never should be.

  12. Ferrari clearly gained on Mercedes, but the biggest gain obviously was made by Red Bull, being so close now to both Ferrari and Mercedes on a all out powercircuit.. The promises a lot for the race tomorrow and even more for the rest of this season.. I think Ferrari really need to start worry now if they can keep P2 behind Mercedes in the constructors championship, because the Bulls are on a rise.. This will probably make it a bit easier for Mercedes to still claim the 2016 crown with Red Bull taking more points of Ferrari, but 2017 is probably gonna be a whole different story and what really worries Mercedes..

    1. Well, this track is so simple that everyone is closer to Mercedes than usual.
      But let’s wait till Silverstone and other tracks with more variety of turns to see what we get.

      I belive Red Bull is going to be stronger than Ferrari

  13. Rosberg squandered a good opportunity for the pole today. It is the beginning of the end for his title challenge Hamilton has got him rattled.

    1. Or…Nico will get the better start and take LH in the first corner as has happened before. Pole has certainly been no guarantee of anything this season.

  14. Neither Hamilton or Rosberg did a good final lap. Vettel probably extracted way more of his car than them. I suspect there is still a 0.5 seconds gap for the Mercs.

    1. Or past quali’s Vettel has not extracted what Ferrari is capable of and this is the 1st time. Best thing was Vettel did not sound happy with his lap he thought he should of got pole which is even better news.

  15. Don’t forget Ricciardo hit the wall and might have damaged his back axl.

  16. Lee Porcelli
    12th June 2016, 8:46

    The top four have all done well.Seb and Rick really pushing the mercs. The weather and first corner I think will really make this a great win for the underdogs .Rick / Seb / Lewis finishing order.

  17. The speed trap numbers were interesting. I’m wondering if Red Bull have sacrificed some downforce for straight line speed because their engine upgrade, whilst significant shouldn’t have been enough to send them to the top and of the speeds.

    What it does mean is that they won’t be sitting ducks on the straights like they have been so should be able to hold if not gain positions.

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